Dokumentation af Irlands historie
Af Paul-Frederik Bach
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Erklæring om retableringen af nordirsk selvstyre


Statement by the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach

Stormont 29 June 2006

1. We met today with the parties to review progress towards the restoration of devolved institutions in Northern Ireland by November and to discuss the way ahead. While the Assembly has reconvened in recent weeks we note the disappointment and frustration across Northern Ireland at the inability to move more quickly beyond procedural issues.

2. It is absolutely clear that if devolution is to be restored by the 24 November deadline then the parties will need to engage with greater urgency and determination to reach agreement. If the political will exists then we believe the very few issues which remain to be resolved can be satisfactorily addressed in that timescale.

3. In order to facilitate resolution of these issues, and as envisaged in our statement of 6 April, the Assembly will continue its work in the autumn. Given the urgent need to make rapid progress, we urged the parties to make full use of the summer period to continue work at Committee level so that the Assembly can get down to preparing for Government when it reconvenes in September. In order to assist work in the autumn, we have published today a work plan and an indicative timetable for full restoration. Above all, we hope that parties will use the summer to consult their members and their communities on the way forward. The parties need to weigh in the balance any outstanding issues and any lingering mistrust against the prospect of losing devolution for another generation.

4. We were clear when we met in Armagh that people in Northern Ireland are impatient for progress and will not tolerate a political process which stretches out indefinitely. We are convinced that November is the outer limit of an acceptable timeframe. Failure to meet that deadline would be a failure which will put the Assembly in cold storage from 24 November. That would be very regrettable, but everyone accepts that an Assembly subsidised by the public which is not serving its community through active government is simply not sustainable. In this context, we also took the opportunity today to review progress on new partnership arrangements that would need to be put in place to ensure our effective joint stewardship of the Good Friday Agreement in the event that devolution does not take place by 24 November. This work continues.

5. The key to real political progress is genuine and frank political engagement from all sides on the outstanding issues. That conviction is as strong following our discussions today as it has ever been. We look forward to all concerned intensifying their efforts in the period ahead so that fully-restored institutions can become a reality. The issues that really matter to the people of Northern Ireland can best be addressed by the elected politicians working.

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Oprettet 10.8.2006     Opdateret d. 1.1.2009