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Document agreed at the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) meeting on Saturday 21 September 2002

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Text: David Trimble ... Page compiled: Martin Melaugh

Text of document agreed at the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) meeting on Saturday 21 September 2002

1. The Ulster Unionist Party reaffirms the commitment that we gave to the people of Northern Ireland in our election manifesto in 1998, namely that "we will not sit in government with unreconstructed terrorists".

2.The Ulster Unionist Party further reaffirms its commitment to the Mitchell Principles of democracy and non-violence and its determination to achieve a real and lasting peace, with stable government in Northern Ireland. The Ulster Unionist Party will judge all the terrorist organisations in terms of the level of their commitment to the Mitchell Principles. In particular, the UUP will continue to demand the total disarmament and disbandment of all terrorist groups including the IRA.

3. The Ulster Unionist Party supports devolution and has worked hard in the Assembly to deliver good government for all the people of Northern Ireland. Whilst we wish to sustain the institutions of government through the Assembly, we are equally determined to protect the democratic integrity of those institutions.
In view of the failure of Sinn Féin/IRA to honour their commitment to exclusively peaceful and democratic means, the Ulster Unionist Party will, with immediate effect, adopt a policy of non-participation in meetings of the North-South Ministerial Council at both plenary and bilateral level. In the absence of Ulster Unionist ministers, the NSMC will cease to function.

4. The Ulster Unionist Party will seek an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister to place before him our demand that he honours the pledge he gave on April 10th, 1998, to provide an effective exclusion mechanism to enable Sinn Féin/IRA to be removed from ministerial office.
The Prime Minister will be informed that the UUP will not return to the NSMC and will take further action in relation to our participation in the executive unless he honours his pledge.

5. The Ulster Unionist party will initiate talks with the other partys (sic) and the Government over the next three months to ensure that there is a viable basis for the future governance of Northern Ireland and that unless upon the conclusion of such talks it has been demonstrably established that a real and genuine transition is proceeding to a conclusion, the party leader will recommend to a reconvened UUC meeting on January 18th, 2003, the immediate resignation of all Ulster Unionist ministers from the administration.

6. The Ulster Unionist Party reiterates its full support for the police and the rule of law. We will press the Prime Minister to set aside or vary the discriminatory 50/50 recruitment policy to enable additional officers to be recruited on the basis of merit alone and to give a firm commitment on the retention of the full-time reserve.
The Ulster Unionist Party will oppose further unnecessary changes to the policing legislation and gives notice that it will withdraw from the Policing Board in the event of the government capitulating to the unreasonable demands of Sinn Féin/IRA for further police reform including places for convicted terrorists on district policing partnership boards.

7. The Ulster Unionist Party will press the government to introduce appropriate legislative measures and to provide adequate resources in support of the Organised Crime Task Force to ensure that the criminal activities of the paramilitary organisations are closed down and that greater accountability is created.

8. The Ulster Unionist Party will further press the government to establish a special unit to support those who have been illegally exiled from Northern Ireland by terrorist organisations and will demand that these people and their families be enabled to return home. The UUP will also press for the formation of a Victims Commission to oversee and co-ordinate support for the innocent victims of terrorist violence.

9. The Ulster Unionist Party will continue to vigorously oppose any amnesty for IRA terrorists "on the run".

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