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McGuinness - Political will required to find way forward

28 January, 2003


Speaking from the College of St Rose in Albany in America, former Education Minster, Martin McGuinness MP, MLA, has said that political will is required to find a way out of the current political impasse and called for urgent movement from the British government to restore the political institutions it suspended in October.

Martin McGuinness said:

"The democratic institutions agreed and established under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement have been unilaterally suspended by the British government. The British government has also publicly accepted that it has failed to fully implement its commitments under the terms of the Agreement.

"Those institutions need to be put back in place urgently. We are currently engaged in negotiations in an attempt to achieve this and I have no doubt that, if there is the political will to work together, we can find a way forward.

"There can be no renegotiation of the Good Friday Agreement, The Agreement must be implemented in full. We must see an end to political policing. Our society must be demilitarised, on all sides. There must be an end to discrimination, inequality and sectarianism. Human rights must become a reality for all our people. There is a particular onus on the British government to deliver on these obligations.

"Despite the recurring difficulties, substantial progress has been made. Only a very short time ago a vicious circle of injustice, inequality and conflict afflicted us in the north of Ireland. In a relatively short period of time the political landscape has been transformed and we have provided the hope, if not yet the certainty, that the failures and injustices of the past can be addressed effectively so that they will never be repeated." ENDS

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