Page 15 of today’s Newsletter carries an adertisement by the Ulster Unionist Party which quotes about 200 words of Mitchell McLaughlin’s speech to the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in March.
Sinn Fein said yes to the political package…because we were satisfied that we had defended the fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement including its Power-Sharing All-Ireland and Equality provisions…We secured:
The establishment of the All-Ireland consultative Civic Forum,
The establishment of the All-Ireland Parliamentary Forum,
A process of rolling and frontloaded demilitarisation,
Both Governments also agreed to a resolution of residual issues around prisoners and “On-the-Runs”.
One of the first posts on the Young Unionist blog on January 11th was in relation to the All Ireland Parliamentary Forum. The DUP claim that this was in the Belfast Agreement. This is true only to an extent. The forum was to be “considered” by the Assembly before being set up, this was done on May 28th 2002 and rejected by the Assembly. The DUP, according to Mitchell, gave up this right of consideration and agreed to its establishment.