UN Special Rapporteur: Discussions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:00 pm on 23rd November 2015.

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Photo of Emma Little Pengelly Emma Little Pengelly DUP 2:00 pm, 23rd November 2015

Officials from our Department met Pablo de Greiff, the UN special rapporteur on truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence on 11 November 2015. The purpose of the visit was to offer an objective assessment of the various initiatives undertaken to deal with the legacies of the Troubles. Discussions focused on the holistic approach being taken to improve services for victims and survivors here. Those focused on the victim support and individual needs programmes and our Department's ongoing collaborative design programme, which we have undertaken in conjunction with the Commission for Victims and Survivors and the Victims and Survivors Service. The programme aims to ensure a level of service provision that better meets the needs of victims and survivors.

The significant progress made by the programme, and the positive feedback received to date, was discussed, along with key strands of work being taken forward under the Stormont House Agreement in relation to advocacy, a pension for those severely physically injured and the establishment of a mental trauma service. The implementation of the Together: Building a United Community strategy was also discussed. Those discussions included the recently published good relations indicators and the application of an outcome-based approach to monitoring and evaluation. Mr de Greiff will now prepare a report on his findings from the visit, which will be presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2016. Our Department will give his advice and recommendations due consideration.