Progress can be made if all parties display political will
Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin said today that all of the parties and the two governments had a major role to play in ensuring that the Good Friday Agreement is delivered and the political process is advanced. Mr McLaughlin was speaking as the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern addressed the annual Fianna Fáil Easter Commemoration in Dublin.
Mr McLaughlin said:
"Sinn Féin is the largest pro-Agreement party in the Six Counties. We are absolutely committed to the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. Republicans have shown time and again that we are prepared to stretch ourselves and our constituency in an effort to see the progress of recent years consolidated and built upon.
"The recent initiative by Gerry Adams, in my view, offers us an opportunity to end the current impasse in the process and make real progress in the weeks after the election campaign.
"But Sinn Féin cannot do this on our own. All of the parties and the two governments have a major contribution to make. And this must be around the two governments standing up for the Agreement. There can be no dilution of the central core of the Good Friday Agreement.
"Peoples basic rights and entitlements cannot be bartered away at the whim of rejectionist unionism. People cannot, nor should they be asked to wait for the DUP or others to sign on for the sort of fundamental political, social and constitutional changes which are demanded by the Agreement. Such changes are essential if we are to construct the sort of peaceful and democratic society which the vast majority of people on this island wish to see delivered." ENDS