Belfast Telegraph

Sectarian politics 'bars racial equality'

Progress on promoting racial equality in Northern Ireland has been stalled because of political disagreements over combating sectarianism, a UN committee has heard.

Disputes over dealing with community relations have delayed real action on race relations, the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM) said.

Its director, Patrick Yu, was in Geneva yesterday to address the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

"Race relations fails to attract sufficient political commitment in Northern Ireland because of the sectarianised nature of politics there," he said.

"Race relations is subsumed under a general good relations agenda, but the latter then focuses almost exclusively on relations between the majority and minority communities."

He encouraged the committee to urge the Government to guarantee that the process of developing a new racial equality strategy with a detailed budget line from each department to implement its action plan to be completed by March next year.

Belfast Telegraph

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