Disappointment as Executive Parties fail to agree for the common good

The Green Party in Northern Ireland has expressed disappointment and frustration at the failure of the five Executive parties to agree over the Haass proposals.

“There is no doubt this was big challenge with a wide remit but within a narrow time frame,” Green Party Leader Steven Agnew MLA said today.

“But we are very disappointed with the abject failure of those involved to reach a workable agreement.

“The task they were charged with was to put the good of the people of Northern Ireland at the centre of negotiations.

“However, it appears that for some, the out-dated mind-set of serving ‘their communities’ has been a block to meaningful progress.

“This is the same failure of political leadership and unwillingness to find common ground which is played out within the Assembly structure on a daily basis.

“And it is the people of Northern Ireland who repeatedly lose out.

“The failure of this important initiative shows that we must continue to work hard to create a lasting peace for the common good.

“Political agreement is important but it must be supported by communities.

“People care about flags, parades and dealing with the past – but they also care about health, education, welfare reform and the other practical matters that impact on their lives.

“If political parties cannot manage to move our peace process forward, then we believe the people of Northern Ireland, who live the reality of division, can and their voices must be heard.

“Our own history has taught us that only through dialogue, compromise and a generosity of spirit can we move forward.

“We now need a process of civic conversation to engage citizens in the shaping of the future of Northern Ireland.”

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