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Keynote Statement by the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), 16 November 1999

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Research: Fionnuala McKenna
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Keynote Statement by the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), 16 November 1999

"The Alliance Party welcomes Senator Mitchell's interim report and the assessment published yesterday by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning which provide the opportunity for the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

We are pleased that IICD will now play a more active role and that General de Chastelain and his team must be given full co-operation and commitment by all groups holding illegal arms and explosives.

We have always said that not only is decommissioning a voluntary act, but it is also a process, a process which has a completion date - namely May 2000 - but one which has no fixed commencement date. It is our view that the appointment of authorised representatives is the commencement of that process and we would urge that it happens now.

The Alliance Party is committed to the establishment of an inclusive power-sharing executive within the Northern Ireland Assembly based on the d'Hondt method of election. In these circumstances, we urge the UK Government to establish the executive as soon as possible and, along with the Irish Government, to set up the agreed North-South bodies.

Throughout the Review process the Alliance Party has urged that the pro-Agreement parties have the collective responsibility to carry out the will of the people of Northern Ireland as charged through the outcome of the Referendum last year.

The full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement provides the basis of creating a fair and peaceful society in Northern Ireland and the establishment of inclusive accountable democracy."

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