Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Investment vital tool in tackling inequality

31 May, 2005

Speaking at a Press Conference today in Belfast's Europa Hotel the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, MP, MLA, said:

"Today's announcement is to be warmly welcomed. It will undoubtedly generate business growth and breathe further investment confidence into the North's economy.

"Mr Hevesi's good will investment gesture is evidence of his continuing and long-standing interest in economic development, equality and the peace process. His role in encouraging the introduction of workforce monitoring, of strengthening anti-discrimination laws and his advocacy of the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement are testament to his positive role in contributing to a fairer and more prosperous society for all.

"Today's announcement is also significant in that this is the first time that US pension fund investment has been used in the North. Hopefully, it will represent the beginning of an equally long-standing commitment that can develop in the time ahead."

In conclusion the Sinn Féin President said:

"While current economic and employment trends indicate a changing upward trend, the undisputed realities are that neither the British government or its investment agencies have succeeded in tackling the deep-rooted social and economic decline that continues to largely affect nationalist and to a lesser degree, protestant areas.

"There is clearly a need for the British government and investment agencies like INI (Invest Northern Ireland) and the Strategic Investment Board to ensure that they comprehensively address such realities and are held accountable for delivering change." ENDS

Note for Editors: New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi will be contributing approximately £5million of pension fund investment into a total capital venture fund of up to £42m.

Statistics released last week bear testimony to the fact that on every socio-economic indicator, despite legal and policy requirements supposedly in place, that nationalists continue to suffer disproportionately from the affects of deprivation, discrimination and poverty.

As the Comptroller of New York State's $120 billion pension funds Mr Hevesi has had some considerable experience in setting such standards of accountability among corporate business and governance circles.

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