Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Adams - Equality Commission Must Deliver

19 July, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has said that "the litmus test for the North's Equality Commission remains, "whether the Commission now demonstrates the will and the courage to fulfil the objectives set out for it in the Good Friday Agreement."

Mr. Adams said:

"The Equality Commission has not delivered on the promise heralded by the Good Friday Agreement.

"The Equality Commission was given very specific powers and the status needed to hold policy makers and public bodies to account by ensuring that proper equality scrutiny was complied with to prevent and address direct or indirect discrimination.

"However the Commission has rarely taken issue with the unacceptable status quo and litigation is usually viewed as the non-option.

"Sinn Féin's support for the Equality Commission is grounded in the need to bring about a more equal society.

"However the Commission has not fully embraced the task of championing the equality agenda in the robust way necessary, particularly with regard to implementing meaningful change in key equality areas where policy makers still pay lip service to equality legislation.

"The key challenge facing the new Commission therefore is the task of tackling discrimination and inequality. In part that means taking on the policy makers and those in key decision making positions. Sinn Féin will judge the effectiveness of this Commission on whether it delivers on the mandate provided to it under the Good Friday Agreement." ENDS

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