Independent Monitoring Commission

Northern Ireland written statement – made on 9th March 2006.

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Photo of Peter Hain Peter Hain The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, The Secretary of State for Wales

I have laid before Parliament the Ninth Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission. This is the first report on the security normalisation programme and it covers the first six months of the normalisation period.

When I announced the security normalisation programme on 1 August last year, I stressed that normalisation could only take place in an enabling environment. I have a non-negotiable duty to protect the safety and security of the people of Northern Ireland. I have subsequently made clear that if the security situation changes and there is not, an enabling environment I will not hesitate to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to safeguard the public in Northern Ireland.

I welcome the IMC's confirmation that the Government have proceeded with normalisation as promised and that they believe this is consistent with Government's obligations to the safety and security of the public. I am confident that the remaining commitments in the first tranche of normalisation will be delivered in the next two months and that the IMC will be able to confirm this in their next report on security normalisation.

I am also pleased to note that the IMC agree that PIRA have taken a strategic decision to follow a political path and that they do not present a terrorist threat or a threat to the security forces.