The Minister for Integration, Conor Lenihan T.D., today launched a Statement on Integration and Diversity Management. This is the first document of its kind from the Office of the Minister for Integration since the Office was established in June 2007.

Launching the document the Minister said "The remarkable immigration that we have experienced in this country over the past decade and the challenge of integration that it brings is one of the biggest challenges that we face as a country.

The Department of Education is currently spending €120 million on language support teachers in schools. These learning resources will be the subject of rigorous review and evaluation to further enhance this service.

By putting the proper structures in place and by strategic planning for the future, we can avoid the difficulties that other countries have experienced.

A key facet of this will be the mainstream approach that will be taken in delivering services to migrants in order to avoid the advent of parallel communities."

The Statement on Integration launched today lists eight key actions of policy and four key principles which are envisaged by the Statement.

The Minister continued "The new integration policy focuses on the role of local communities, authorities, sporting bodies, faith based groups and political parties in building integrated communities.

It also looks at the way in which integration is of necessity a two-way process with responsibilities and rights for both newcomers and the current population."

The Integration Statement looks at all the areas which must be addressed and some of the key studies that have been done in the integration area.

The Minister concluded "We want to be pro-active and plan for an intercultural society where there is co-operation, understanding and a shared responsibility between the different cultural groups.

We will succeed in this challenge by working in partnership."

‘Migration Nation’ is available on www.diversityireland.ie.

1st May 2008

Photographs from today's conference are available from Maxwell's - maxpics@eircom.net or 018308072