The First Minister Rt.Hon Peter D. Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA have announced that Dr Richard Haass, the former United States Envoy to Northern Ireland, will be the independent chair of the all-party group being set up to deal with some of the most divisive issues in society here.
Dr Haass was the agreed choice as chairman among the five parties represented in the Executive.
The all-party group will seek to bring forward a set of recommendations by the end of this year on parades and protests, flags, symbols, emblems and related matters stemming from the past in order to make the peace more resilient going forward.
The First Minister and deputy First Minister said: “We are deeply grateful that an international figure of Dr Haass’s standing has agreed to facilitate these important discussions which we hope will provide long term and sustainable solutions that are in the best interests of the community.”
Dr Haass was US Envoy to Northern Ireland from 2001-03 and is President of the Council on Foreign Relations, a US based independent think tank.