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De Brún - Governments must honour equality and human rights commitments

8 December, 2002

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Human Rights and Equality issues, Bairbre de Brún MLA has today called on the British and Irish governments to 'honour the commitments they made in the Good Friday Agreement on Equality and Human Rights matters.'

Ms de Brún was speaking at a Sinn Féin conference in Belfast to discuss Equality and Human Rights and their impact on economic investment and development particularly in areas of high social deprivation. The conference was also addressed by the party's equality spokesperson Dr. Dara O'Hagan.

Ms de Brún said:

"Equality and human rights must be at the heart of any successful implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. In the current discussions with the two governments we have placed these matters high on the political agenda. This is particularly true in the areas of economic investment and development. A peace process that does not deliver political and economic change for the better to citizens is failing in one of its primary objectives.

"Sinn Féin has placed equality and human rights firmly on the talks agenda. If we are to speak of implementing the Good Friday Agreement, then people who have suffered most over the years need to see a new beginning for them and for the communities in which they live. Indeed, equality is a central requirement of any stable and cohesive society, and all the more so in our society where discrimination has been used as a tool of division and political power.

"To make progress on the commitments to equality in the Good Friday Agreement, particularly where economic development is concerned, we need to focus on those commitments that have been consistently let down by the promise of change in the past. If we cannot break the cycle in these areas, then it won't happen at all."ENDS

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