Communiqué from 41st plenary of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly
The British Irish Parliamentary Assembly today concluded its 41st plenary in Douglas, the Isle of Man. This was the first plenary of the Assembly to be held in a Crown Dependency.
Developments in regard to the Irish economy curtailed the session with the Assembly agreeing to cancel Tuesday morning's sitting to allow Irish members to return. A special debate on the economic crisis was held during Monday morning's sitting, led by the Assembly Vice-Chair, Margaret Conlon TD.
The theme of the plenary was "Creating Space for Economic Development."
During the plenary the following were debated and agreed:
A discussion on the Saville Report and related matters was led by Lord Bew, an historical adviser to the Inquiry, and included contributions from a large range of speakers. Subsequently the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, acknowledged the importance of the publication of the report and its findings;
The Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, Hon JA Brown, also addressed the Assembly and welcomed members to Douglas, saying that it was an honour to host the plenary;
The President of the Nordic Council, Mr Helgi Hjorvar, spoke to the Assembly on the structure and development of the Nordic Council;
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, further addressed the Assembly and assured members of the United Kingdom's support for the Irish Government during this difficult economic period;
The Assembly also discussed and passed a motion tabled by Lord Smith of Clifton noting the delay in the introduction of a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland and calling on the British Government to fulfil its obligations in this regard;
The Assembly endorsed a report from Committee D (Environmental and Social) on the Irish Community in Britain that called for services and funding to the Irish community in Britain to be maintained.
Two other Committee reports and debates on Tourism and the Assembly's relationship with the British Irish Council were postponed to the 42nd plenary in Cork, 27-29 March 2011.