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Third substantive report of the Independent Reporting Commission

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 17 November 2020

I have received the third substantive report from the Independent Reporting Commission (IRC).

The IRC emanated from the “Fresh Start” agreement of November 2015. The agreement set out the Northern Ireland Executive’s commitments around tackling paramilitary activity and associated criminality. This work continues to be taken forward through a Northern Ireland Executive action plan which contains 43 recommendations.

This third substantive report builds on the work already undertaken by the commissioners. The inclusion of a commitment to continue to tackle paramilitarism in the “New Decade, New Approach” agreement, in January 2020, highlights the ongoing importance of this issue, but the commission’s report again reminds us of the challenging work still to be done.

I would like to thank the commissioners for their work, particularly in delivering this year’s report in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic.