Belfast Telegraph

Cohesion strategy 'fatally flawed'

The good relations strategy in Northern Ireland is fatally flawed, the Assembly has heard.

It fails to provide a framework for a shared future, SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie added.

The draft Cohesion, Sharing and Integration strategy has been debated at Stormont.

Ms Ritchie said: "The recently published Programme for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration document fails to provide any sort of shape or framework for a shared and reconciled society.

"It is fatally flawed and lacks conviction - full of lofty aims but no real proposals for achieving them and major omissions."

Progress on the so-called shared future strategy was a key demand from the Alliance Party before its leader David Ford agreed to take the job of Justice Minister.

Under the strategy the Executive pledges to urgently address the "physical and community division created by interfaces".

Ministers will also be committed to tackling "the visible manifestations of racism, sectarianism, intolerance and other forms of prejudice".

They will also adopt a "zero tolerance" approach to incidences of, and reasons for, attacks motivated by sectarian, religious, racist or hate prejudice.

These include those on symbolic premises, cultural premises and monuments. Another goal is to take action which will address sectarian behaviour at spectator sports events.


From Belfast Telegraph