[Sinn Fein]

8 July 2000

Government must do more to tackle racism

Gerry Adams backs Mary Robinson call at UN conference in Dublin

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP has called on the Government to endorse and act on today's comments from former President Mary Robinson about the rise of racism in Irish society.

Mr. Adams said:

``I would like to echo comments made by former President Mary Robinson at the `Transforming the United Nations' conference in Dublin and I regret that I was unable to attend what is a very important event.

``As Ireland becomes a more multi-cultural country, the challenge is to embrace our growing diversity as a source of strength and opportunity. To do this we must begin by opposing racism, discrimination and intolerance of any kind, wherever it occurs.

``We all know that racism does not grow by accident. Everywhere it has taken hold it is because unscrupulous people in politics and other spheres of society have nurtured it for their own cynical interests.

``It is up to political leaders to make clear that they will not play party politics with the race issue and that they will not tolerate racism in any form in their party. It is vital that the Government takes the lead on the issue of racism and ensures that its policies address this issue on the basis of tolerance and inclusion.''

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