As we enter 2024, I remain absolutely determined to lead a new Executive as First Minister for All.
Regardless of who you are, or where you come from, I see it as my duty as First Minister Elect to fully represent you, your family, and community.
And despite the recent political setback at the Hillsborough Talks when the DUP rolled back from joining the rest of us to form an Executive, we must focus once again on overcoming this in the New Year.
Negotiations between the DUP and British Government on the Windsor Framework are concluded.
It is time for the DUP to make a decision.
It’s time to move forward in lock-step, ensuring people have the Assembly and government they deserve.
And to ensure your quality of life and the opportunities, dreams and ambitions of your children and grandchildren can be realised.
Families and workers right across our society share a vision of a new future for our politics.
People deserve all parties working together to support workers and families through these challenging times.
And to seize the enormous economic opportunities ahead to attract investment, create new jobs, and to better all our people’s lives, no matter your background.
We urgently need a new Assembly that works at pace to deliver a fair pay rise for our healthcare staff, teachers, and public sector workers.
That tackles crippling health waiting lists that have left people without hope, and in pain.
And that ensures people with special educational needs and their families have access to properly funded, first-class support services.
We need an Executive back in place that listens to the voices of young people, families, and workers.
We owe it to our young people to make that progress happen.
To build opportunities for everyone.
To build a future we can all be proud of.
A future shaped by progress and prosperity.
For you, for your children and grandchildren.
A better future, together.
In 2024, I will continue to work for all, and tirelessly chart that path of progress and prosperity.