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Genuine Dialogue and Engagement essential for Racial Equality Strategy

19 July, 2005

Sinn Fein Spokesperson on anti-racism, South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey has said that genuine dialogue and engagement is essential if the Racial Equality Strategy announced today by British direct rule Minster Jeff Rooker is to be a success.

Mr Maskey said:

"This strategy identifies dialogue as one of its key aims. Many people I have spoken to this morning, while welcoming the publication of the strategy, have voiced concern that this core shared aim that will set the strategic direct for action from the departments, agencies and wider society is currently lacking. Successful dialogue and engagement must built upon properly resourcing for the sector to allow for an effective input into policy development.

"A well intentioned policy will have no credibility as a strategy for change unless this short coming is addressed.

"Racism and intolerance are two of the biggest challenges facing our society. Fundamental to the success of any strategy must be an honest look at how we develop policy and crucially how we implement and monitor the impact of policy." ENDS

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