DEPUTY First Minister Martin McGuinness and Junior Minister Michelle McIlveen MLA today met Witold Sobków the Polish Ambassador to the UK.
Speaking after the meeting they said: “Today was a useful opportunity to meet with Witold Sobków.
“During the course of the meeting we listened to his concerns and reinforced during the meeting how much we appreciate and value the contribution of the Polish community individually and collectively.
“We share the Ambassador’s concern about race hate crimes and all forms of intimidation.
“Although race hate crimes are first and foremost a matter for the PSNI we all have a responsibility to support, understand and respect our neighbours.
“Together we must eradicate the scourge of racism, sectarianism and all forms of bigotry.
“The Executive is determined to promote equality, mutual respect and tolerance for all people in society.
“Our Department has consulted on a draft racial equality strategy which aims to tackle racial inequalities and promote good race relations.
The analysis of the consultation is complete and officials will have the proposals for the final strategy with Ministers shortly.
“We will continue to engage with all interested parties, as by sharing experience, knowledge and views we can collectively address the issues of racism and racial inequality. It is in all our interests that people from minority ethnic backgrounds have a sense of belonging and know that their place in society is valued.
“By working together we can ensure all people in our community are treated fairly and show we welcome the diversity which enhances all our lives.”
In May the First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness met with Jerome Mullen, Polish Honorary Consul for Northern Ireland and representatives from the Polish community Sylwia Slonka McAvoy and Basia Snowarska.