First Minister, Arlene Foster and the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness today were officially appointed as First Minister and deputy First Minister.
Speaking after today’s sitting of the Assembly which confirmed their reappointment as First Minister and deputy First Minister, they said they will embrace the leadership challenges ahead and this Assembly must be measured on delivery and progress.
First Minister, Arlene Foster said: “I am deeply humbled to have affirmed the pledge of office and to return to Stormont as Northern Ireland’s First Minister. When I became First Minister in January, I said I could think of no greater honour than to serve my country and the people of Northern Ireland. Today, that sense of honour is magnified.
“I have been encouraged and inspired and I return to Government more determined than ever to make life better for the people of Northern Ireland. I feel a deep personal sense of responsibility to everyone who lives vibrant, beautiful part of the world.
“I believe in the coming days we can agree a Programme for Government that can deliver for everyone in Northern Ireland. One that will keep us moving forward in a safer, peaceful and more prosperous place. There may be hurdles and difficulties along the way but we stand on the cusp of a new and exciting era for Northern Ireland.
“We must capitalise on every opportunity to build upon the strong economic foundations to underpin the future stability of Northern Ireland. We now have a Fresh Start, we must now all work together to get things done.”
The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: “I have had the enormous honour and responsibility of serving as deputy First Minister since May 2007. I return as deputy First Minister with renewed energy, enthusiasm and determination to continue the forward momentum of our society.
“Today is another important step in building a shared and better future for all our people. I am totally committed to working in partnership with my Executive colleagues to deliver further progress.
“The peace and political process has been a journey for all of us. There have been many challenges, difficulties and many predictions of collapse. But we have confounded the sceptics and negative voices as we continue our journey forward. The Fresh Start Agreement does give us the space to do things better. The new Programme for Government will, I am confident, build on the opportunities that now exist for better, more strategic and coordinated government. This Assembly term provides the opportunity for political stability, economic growth and social progress. The challenge is to make this a reality.
“I am up for that challenge but we must all work together to build an inclusive and prosperous society, to deliver jobs, invest in our health and public services, and improve the lives of all our people".
Notes to editors:
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