Once again Northern Ireland has a friendly American or two on hand to help us sort out our differences. This time round, however, the parties in the talks will be those which are in the Northern Ireland Executive. As a result, many other organisations, political parties, etc will not be involved directly. Therefore, the Independent Chair and Vice Chair have invited submissions:

Ambassador Haass and Dr. O’Sullivan recognise the diversity of opinion and the wide array of individuals and groups in civil society who can make a valuable contribution to this process. They are dedicated to conducting a process that is as inclusive as possible and will meet with as many stakeholders as possible during their visits to Northern Ireland. Given limited time before the December deadline, however, they welcome the written submissions of all interested parties.

Any individual, group, or organisation is welcome to send a submission to the Panel of Parties in the NI Executive. The Panel will treat all submissions as confidential throughout the process. At the end of the process, the chair and vice chair may seek the permission of some groups to make public their submissions; this will only be done with explicit permission.

Submissions can take any focus, although the Panel will draw the greatest value from ones that provide both background needed to understand the complexities of the issues and specific recommendations on any or all of the three issues for which the panel has an express mandate: parades and protests; flags, symbols and emblems, and related matters; and the past. Submissions will be received throughout the process, but the Panel urges those interested in making a submission to do so by 27 September. All submissions should be sent via this website or by email, ideally with clear contact information attached.

For other comments and queries, please write to info@panelofpartiesnie.com. Members of the media can contact the Panel at press@panelofpartiesnie.com.

—Dr. Richard N. Haass and Dr. Meghan L. O’Sullivan, Independent Chair and Vice Chair of the The Panel of Parites in the NI Executive on Parades and Protests, Flags, Symbols and Emblems, and related matters; and the Past. http://panelofpartiesnie.com/submissions/