The new Northern Ireland Secretary has promised to help build stability and peace in the region.
Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, takes over from Owen Paterson following a cabinet reshuffle by British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Ms Villiers, pictured, takes up the post as the Northern Ireland Office considers reforms to powersharing structures at Stormont and comes under pressure to deal with growing tensions over parading in the North.
She said: "Huge progress has been made in Northern Ireland over recent years.
"As the headlines in the past few days demonstrate, however, we still have some way to go if we are to overcome the divisions in society and build a genuinely shared future."
She said the British government would stand by agreements made over the past two decades. She added she was acutely aware of the need to rebalance the economy and the government would put pressure on those who resort to terrorism and violence.