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Written Statement by Peter Hain on the Seventh Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), (19 October 2005)

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Text: British Government ... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn

Written Statement by Peter Hain, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on the Seventh Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), House of Commons, (19 October 2005)


"I have received the Seventh Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC). This report has been made under Articles 4 and 7 of the International Agreement that established the Commission and it reports on levels of paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland. I have considered the content of the report and I am today bringing it before Parliament. I have placed copies in the Library of the House.

The report concludes that the PIRA statement, despite coming at a point when five sixths of the period under review had elapsed, is 'very significant'. The statement and the act of decommissioning reported by the IICD on 26 September have created a platform for future progress and 'initial signs following the PIRA statement are encouraging'. However, it is essential that the IMC, as they state, are able to observe 'cumulative changes in behaviour over a more sustained period of time...'. I await the next Report of the Commission, due in January 2006.

In the meantime I have decided to restore Sinn Féin's Assembly allowances, with effect from 1 November, and will, in due course, recommend to the House that it lifts the suspension of allowances to Sinn Féin Members of Parliament, which took effect on 1 April this year.

The report also concludes that paramilitaries, especially Loyalists and dissident Republicans, continue to exert a malign influence over communities which has obstructed the development of a 'culture of lawfulness'.  As I said in my Statement to Parliament on 14 October, it has taken a long time for the Republican movement to acknowledge that violence does not pay but it has now publicly done so. Loyalist paramilitaries must now also realise that exclusively peaceful and democratic means represent the sole way forward.

Once again, I am grateful to the Commission for their submission of this report and for its careful analysis."


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