Adams - Tomorrow will be an important test of British and Irish government commitment to the peace process
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP speaking in Kerry this evening where he is attending the launch of 'Man of Kerry a biography of Martin Ferris said 'People will be listening very carefully to what Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair have to say in Downing Street tomorrow. They have said that momentum needs to be injected into the peace process - tomorrow will be an important test of their commitment to that task.'
Mr. Adams said:
"Two of the most important advances of the last fifteen years in Ireland have been the peace process and economic growth. Both have opened up huge opportunities which have yet to be fully realised. The key question for all of us is how both are advanced in the interests of all the people on the island.
"What is critical is that the complacency which is evident in the government's approach to public finances is not replicated in the peace process. The ethos which saw millions wasted on consultants' reports, on electronic voting machines and computer systems which don't work and on tax avoidance schemes which favour the rich is bad for society as a whole. The opportunity created by economic prosperity must be used to end poverty, to invest in public services, to protect workers rights. It is also important that opportunities to exploit natural resources, which could be worth billions to the economy, are not handed away to multi-nationals.
"The opportunity created by the IRA decision to formally end its armed campaign needs to be built upon. The IRA decision has not resolved the crisis in the peace process, what it has done is open up an opportunity to make progress.
People will be listening very carefully to what Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair have to say following tomorrow's meeting in Downing Street. They have said that momentum needs to be injected into the peace process - tomorrow will be an important test of their commitment to that task.
"There are a number of things that need to happen and on which the two governments have already made commitments - the political institutions need to be restored, the British government need to come forward with legislation on policing and justice, the Equality Commission and Human Rights Commission need additional resources and powers, northern representation for all MPs - nationalist, unionist and republican - in the Oireachtas and the completion the process of demilitarisation. There is nothing new in any of this -- these are issues which are at the core of the Good Friday Agreement which was signed seven years ago and they have been at the core of every negotiation since then. They must be delivered now."ENDS