26/02/2003

Racial inequality forum launched for NI

A new race relations forum for Northern Ireland is among a number of measures introduced by the government yesterday aimed at tackling racial inequalities in the province.

The measures also include the publication of the Northern Ireland Race Equality Strategy consultation and the publication of the government's response to the recommendations of the Promoting Social Inclusion Working Group Report on Travellers.

Speaking at Parliament Buildings, NIO Equality Minister Des Browne said: "This package of measures gives a clear signal to everyone that we are committed to taking forward the work already commenced in tackling the inequalities faced by people from so-called minority ethnic communities."

The Northern Ireland Race Equality Strategy is designed to alleviate the many difficulties faced by minority ethnic people and lays out suggestions for the implementation of the final strategy.

The government's response to the Promoting Social Inclusion Working Group Report on Travellers follows on from the 33 detailed recommendations laid out in the Promoting Social Inclusion Working Group Report on Travellers. This Report made specific recommendations for improving the disadvantage faced by members of the Traveller Community.

The Race Forum, details of which are contained within the Race Equality Strategy, will provide an opportunity for statutory and community/voluntary organisations to work in partnership on the development of a finalised strategy and its action plan. It is hoped that the first meeting of the Forum will be held this Spring and at that meeting several thematic groups will be established to give specialised focus to particular issues.

Des Browne added: "I am determined that suspension will not delay further the realisation of the vision developed by the Executive… it is vital that all stakeholders are prepared to engage fully with the process in an imaginative and innovative manner. We must approach all the issues from a fresh perspective and with an open mind."

The SDLP equality spokesperson Patricia Lewsley welcomed the move as an "important and positive step forward".

(GMcG)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

04 December 2020
Appeal For Information On Aggravated Burglary
The PSNI have issued an appeal for information and witnesses following a report of an aggravated burglary at a house in the Cupar Way area of Belfast last night. At approximately 11.00pm two men, one of whom had what is believed to be a hammer, forced their way into a house.
23 November 2020
Police Appeal For Information On Burglaries In Holywood And Dundonald
The PSNI have issued two separate appeals for information on burglaries in Holywood and Dundonald. Detectives are appealing for information following a report of a burglary of a house in Holywood on the evening of Friday 20th November.
17 May 2021
Watchdog Report Finds No Police Bias Over Bobby Storey Funeral
A watchdog report into the police handling of the funeral of senior republican Bobby Storey has found that the PSNI prioritised public security over enforcement of Covid-19 regulations without showing bias.
19 April 2021
Property Badly Smoke Damaged In Rasharkin
A property has been badly smoke damaged in Rasharkin after a firework exploded at the door of the house. The incident happened in the Carnfintan Park area in the early hours of Sunday, 18 April. No-one was injured during the incident.
15 April 2021
Appeal Launched After Girl Injured In Lurgan Collision
Police are appealing for information after a five-year-old girl was injured following a collision involving a car. The incident happened in Lurgan on Tuesday, 13 April. The girl, who was riding her bike, has broken her elbow and leg.