Af Paul-Frederik Bach
Hjemmeside English section
JOINT STATEMENT BY BRITISH AND IRISH GOVERNMENTS
Following is the complete text of a joint statement released by the British and Irish governments following the IRA's complete decommissioning yesterday:
The two Governments have today received a report from the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD).
The report states that the IICD has overseen a further and final major programme of arms decommissioning by the IRA. It is the IICD's assessment, based on the information available to it and the two Governments, that the IRA has now placed all of its arms completely and verifiably beyond use.
We warmly welcome this landmark development. Having sought to achieve this outcome for so many years, its significance now needs to be acknowledged and recognised. It is the clearest signal ever that the IRA's armed campaign is over.
We also welcome the presence of clergymen from the Protestant and Catholic communities as independent witnesses to the decommissioning process. Their presence should enhance public confidence.
Although the completion of IRA decommissioning removes a dangerous threat and offers a welcome and important opportunity for progress, we are today most of all conscious of the victims of the IRA's protracted campaign and their families. They remain central to our thoughts and prayers. The tragic and unnecessary loss of life and terrible injuries suffered over an extended period can never be forgotten.
In our joint statement of 28 July, we said that the IRA's words must be borne out by actions. Today's IICD report represents a major step forward in this regard.
We look forward to the reports, scheduled for October and January, of the Independent Monitoring Commission, which will address the question of paramilitary and criminal activity.
We strongly believe that the interests of everyone in Northern Ireland and throughout these islands are best served by the earliest practicable restoration of the devolved institutions of the Good Friday Agreement. We recognise that trust and confidence will take time to rebuild but we hope that today's developments will provide a vital stimulus. For their part the Governments will do everything we can to facilitate progress.
The completion of IRA decommissioning makes it all the more urgent that loyalist paramilitary activity be brought to an end and that all loyalist arms be decommissioned.
We would like to express our profound appreciation for the work of General de Chastelain and his colleagues on the IICD. They have made an invaluable contribution to the process of building and assuring peace. We are deeply indebted to them for the professional and painstaking manner in which they have carried out this part of their mandate.