15th December 1998
Unionist stalling designed to undermine process
Sinn Fein Assembly member Mitchel McLaughlin, speaking prior to the sitting of the Assembly today said:
``Sinn Fein will move an amendment to the motion being proposed by Robert McCartney in the Assembly this morning.
Our amendment is as follows:
Noting the overwhelming public support for the Peace Process; ``This Assembly calls on the First Minister (Designate) and the Deputy First Minister (Designate) to produce a final report to the assembly no later than December 21st 1998, on the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement as mandated on July 1st 1998.''
- The UK unionists clearly stated intention is to destroy the GFA, therefore the purpose of their motion is to undermine the Agreement, not to ensure its speedy implementation.
- Their motion also delays the bringing forward of the proposed report until January 18th 1999.
- Sinn Fein Assembly Members will be opposing the UKUP motion.
- Our amendment accepts the need for a report from the First and Deputy First Minister to explain the undue delay in establishing the shadow executive, the All-Ireland Ministerial Council and the implementation bodies.
- The GFA is now in default having missed the October 31st deadline. <LI> There is no valid reason for this failure to implement the Agreement in full.
Almost eight months after the signing of the Agreement the only structure in place is this Assembly. As the Good Friday Agreement is already in default, which need to be taken urgently.
This Agreement is in default in that:
- The Executive has not been established.
- The all-Ireland Ministerial Council has not been established.
- The all-Ireland Implementation Bodies have not been agreed or ratified.
These are the structures promised to and endorsed by the electorate in the referendum and election. They must be acted upon without further delay.
We want to see closure on these matters. The stalling by Unionist parties is designed to undermine the equality and inclusiveness of the peace process and to hollow out the substance of the all-Ireland structures.''
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