Annan hails Irish Republican Army announcement on disarmament

Annan hails Irish Republican Army announcement on disarmament

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today welcomed the announcement by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that it had begun disarmament.

"This decision is a watershed in the history of Northern Ireland, and also addresses one of the critical challenges of post-conflict peacebuilding - specifically, control over and the disposal of weapons," a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement released at UN Headquarters in New York.

"The Secretary-General calls on all parties concerned to seize this unique opportunity to consolidate the Good Friday Agreement further, and on those who had left the process to re-enter Northern Ireland's devolved government," the statement said.