Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government failures are main impediment to progress

20 March, 2004

Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator, Mid Ulster MP Martin McGuinness MLA has said that it is difficult to see how the stated intention of the two governments to 'step up the pace' of talks will provide the basis for progress unless they deal will the central problem of the failure of the two governments to act on their commitments.

Mr McGuinness said:

"The failure of the Irish and British governments of act on their commitments is the main impediment to progress.

"Their failure to deliver on policing, justice, human rights and equality have undermined the potential for progress. Critically the continuing refusal of the British government to lift suspension is much more than an act of bad faith it highlights their willingness to continue to act outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

"The problems in the peace process are wider than the British and Irish governments admit. They go beyond the problems of the armed groups and the refusal of unionists to commit to inclusive government as claimed by the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister.

"The refusal of the governments to deliver on their obligations has a far more serious negative effect on the overall process.

"Commitments in the Good Friday Agreement, Weston Park and in the numerous talks since then made by the two governments have not been moved on. In October last year republicans stepped up to the mark and delivered. Unionism reneged on its commitments and so have the British of Irish governments.

"We will not get the progress or the stability required unless the two governments show that they are up for implementing across the range of commitments they have made."ENDS

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