Sinn Féin vice-President Michelle O’Neill has been officially elected First Minister of Northern Ireland, the first nationalist to be elected.
The Northern Ireland Assembly is meeting in Stormont for the first time in two years today to select its ministers and speaker.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has nominated MLA Emma Little Pengelly as Deputy First Minister alongside Ms O’Neill.
Speaking in front of the Assembly, Ms O’Neill said they are marking “a moment of equality and progress”.
“I am delighted to see every MLA back in this chamber,” she said.
“I welcome the fact that the DUP has decided to re-enter the democratic institutions and that the outcome of the Assembly election is now being respected.”
She said one of the first actions of the returned Assembly is to introduce a new strategy to tackle violence against women and girls in Northern Ireland.
“As political leaders, we need women and girls to know that we have their backs and that we are working to put laws in place to protect them," she said.
“Everyone, from every section of this society must know they matter, and that we care.”
Former DUP leader Edwin Poots has been appointed the new Assembly Speaker while Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MLA Dr Steve Aiken has been elected as deputy.
Ministers in Northern Ireland
The eight ministerial roles of the assembly will also be elected today, with members of Sinn Féin, the DUP, the UUP and Alliance eligible to be selected.
The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) will serve as the official opposition of the party.
Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin has congratulated Ms O'Neill and Ms Little Pengelly and wished them "both well in what will be very demanding roles".
"While the last few weeks and months have focused on restoring the Assembly and Executive, the hard work now begins in earnest," he said.
"An Executive working collectively - and prioritising real, everyday needs over questions of identity - can meet these challenges.
"The Government stands ready to support the work of the Executive and to work in partnership with the British Government in this."