The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness today took part in the World Credit Union Conference keynote discussion about achieving change through dialogue.
The five day annual event, organised by the World Credit Union Council is being held in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast from 16-20 July, with over 1,800 delegates and guests, representing over 50 countries.
The deputy First Minister took part in a discussion about the peace process and the role of dialogue. He was joined by Brian McCrory, Chairman of the Irish League of Credit Unions and Brian Branch, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Council of Credit Unions.
Speaking after the Conference the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: “I welcome all of the delegates, who have gathered in Belfast from all over the world to attend this international Conference. If we had not made our journey towards peace an international conference like this simply wouldn’t have happened here. Our peace process remains a beacon of hope to others around the world so I welcomed the opportunity to discuss the role of dialogue and need for compromise on all sides. This is not unique to our experience and if we can offer others help we have a responsibility to do so.
“It is this duty of care and community that are the cornerstone of the Credit Union. We live in a world where change is endemic but the values and principles of the Credit Union are as relevant today as they were when the Credit Union movement was founded. The Credit Union has stayed true to the ethos of the founders and remains a powerful force for good not profit.
“Credit Unions offer people hope, financial stability and independence when they need it most. Credit Unions function because of the volunteering and community values and efforts. We must not underestimate their contribution to the social and economic well being of people and families around the globe.
“Although a global association the Credit Union at a local level provides people with an alternative way to manage their money and gives them access to credit when they need it. Whatever the economic circumstances or personal situation, membership of a Credit Union ensures a fair, sympathetic and supportive response. Encouraging self-help and mutual co-operation, the Credit Union actively encourages and enables the community to make the best possible use of their shared resources.”
In closing Martin McGuinness said: “I commend the Credit Union movement for the impact it has made and continues to make locally, nationally and internationally. I congratulate the World Credit Union Conference on your commitment to this practical movement, that continues to support and sustain communities throughout the world.”