Irish peace process a beacon of hope - McGuinness
The Irish peace process is a beacon of hope internationally but ongoing political effort is required if current negotiations are to succeed, Deputy Minister Martin McGuinness has told the Forum for Cities in Transition International conference in Belfast City Hall today.
"The Irish peace process is held up as a beacon of hope for other places around he world," he told delegates.
"Many other regions have looked to us for inspiration as they bid to resolve their own conflicts."
Speaking afterwards, Mr McGuinness called for a renewed focus on the current talks at Stormont. Martin McGuinness said:
"What I told the conference today is that any reconcilliation process requires the absolute will of all those involved to construct and sustain a peace building process. That is true wherever you go in the world and it is still true in the North of Ireland.
"We are presently engaged in very important talks aimed at overcoming issues such as flags, parades and dealing with the past. We will only find solutions to these crucial questions if all parties and the two governments bring to the table an absolute determination to secure a resolution.
"What is required now is the same kind of political and civic will – the demand for change – which we saw in the early days of the peace process and which ultimately led to the Good Friday Agreement.
"Sinn Féin will not be found wanting on those terms and I would urge all the other parties – and both governments to bring a similar determination to the process."