15 January 2004 Edition

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McGuinness to address World Economic Forum

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator and MP for Mid-Ulster, Martin McGuinness will travel to Davos, Switzerland next week to attend the World Economic Forum to address a dedicated session on the Irish Peace Process.

Speaking in advance of the visit, McGuinness said:

"The World Economic Forum is a gathering of world leaders and key international opinion makers. It is a measure of international interest in the Irish Peace Process that there is a dedicated session on our ongoing efforts to finally resolve the causes of conflict in Ireland. This is particularly important at this time, as it will give key world leaders the opportunity to hear at first hand the history of our peace process but also the difficulties that we face at this time. It will, I have no doubt, add to the pressure on the two governments and in particular the British Government to move urgently to resolve the political crisis.

"I will reiterate my firm view that that the two governments must not be paralysed by negative Unionism and that they must fulfil their commitments under the terms of the Agreement. An anti-Agreement minority cannot be allowed to over-ride the wishes of the vast majority of the people of Ireland.

"Democratic and human rights are not conditional. The British Government should immediately lift their unilateral suspension of the political institutions and proceed with the equality, human rights and demilitarisation agendas without further delay."

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