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8 January 2004 Edition

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Review must be focused on governments' failures

Following internal party discussions on Tuesday morning regarding the forthcoming Review of the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin said "that the focus of the review has to be on the failure by the two governments to fully implement the Agreement.

"This Review Process is about a review of the operation and delivery of the Good Friday Agreement and is a necessary part of the Agreement achieved in April 1998. The failure by the two governments to fully implement the Agreement, plus their willingness at times to step outside the terms of the Agreement, must be subject for the upcoming review.

"With regard to its format, Sinn Féin believes that the review should be time-limited to one month and its conclusions should be published promptly. The Review must address the many outstanding issues, including the suspension of the political institutions; the human rights and equality agenda, including victims; demilitarisation; the issue of arms; policing and justice; and prisoners and related matters.

"With respect to the agenda for the review, Sinn Féin has called for it to discuss a range of issues, including a re-endorsement of the Good Friday Agreement; a referendum on Irish unity; an expansion of North-South activity/structures; the All-Ireland parliamentary forum; the all-Ireland civic forum; the Irish Language and Symbols and emblems; as well as the issues of sanctions and the IMC."

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