[Sinn Fein]

19 July 2001

Governments proposals must be in line with Agreement

Speaking today at a press conference in Belfast, Sinn Fin president Gerry Adams MP said that the two governments proposals must be in line with the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr. Adams said:

"The positions outlined by the two governments early last week fell far short of the Good Friday Agreement. The package they committed to put forward, at the end of the Weston Park talks, must return to the Agreement if it is to succeed.

"This is the benchmark against which Sinn Fin will judge the two governments proposals.

"Three years and three months after the Agreement many central elements have not yet been implemented:

The institutions have been functioning as agreed, and without UUP threat to this, for a period of five months only.

The new beginning to policing, in terms agreed, has not been delivered.

The British government has no strategy to implement a strategy for the demilitarisation of society.

The Equality Commission's lack of powers almost reduces its status to that of an advice and monitoring unit.

The Human Rights Commission, established under the Agreement, has been denied the powers and resources to fulfil its remit.

A Bill of Rights has not been produced.

The legislation and implementation plan in respect of the justice system has not been produced.

The right to freedom from sectarian harassment is not being upheld or defended.

The arms issue should be left to the IICD as proscribed by the Agreement.

"It is Sinn Fin's view that the arms issue can and must be resolved. This is not being aided, as is now self-evident, by those who misrepresent the terms of the Agreement on this issue and who attempt, accordingly, to mislead their own constituencies and popular opinion.

"There is a singular fixation on IRA guns which are silent. When the RUC is using lethal force. When the UDA and other loyalists have been killing and attempting to kill. The only armed threat to the Agreement is coming from these elements. I appeal to them to silence their weapons. The immediate requirement is that these guns are silenced.

"I call on nationalists, despite these serious attacks and provocations, to be vigilant and to remain calm.

"Sinn Fin wants to see progress. We want to see the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. The onus is on the two governments is to ensure that their package delivers the Agreement in the terms agreed."

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