The SDLP is concerned that the needs of victims and survivors are not being met. We want to see clear mechanisms put in place that provide wide ranging support for victims and survivors, based on the principle of need, and which are adequately funded and easily accessed.
The SDLP acknowledges the work of the Consultative Group on the Past, led by Lord Eames and Dennis Bradley. It is no straightforward task to deal with one of the most uncomfortable of truths, our past. However, the SDLP cannot agree with all the conclusions and recommendations of the Group.
Truth, healing, justice and dealing with our past will be stalled if those who know the most and did the worst over the years of conflict in state organizations and illegal groups fail to step forward in openness and honesty.
To date, elements in the RUC, the British Army and the Security Services and the leadership of the IRA, UDA, UVF and other terror groups have failed to do so in any credible or complete fashion. That is why truth and justice issues still cast their long shadow on the present. Unless these groups and people are made account for their conduct, this shadow will stretch out into our future.