Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is hopeful powersharing can be restored in Northern Ireland, but recognises there will be challenges in the process.
Speaking at the Irish Labour Awards in New York, he said he believed a solution that brought a "serious step change" was needed, according to the BBC.
Mr Adams said: "Despite the enormous challenges in trying to find a possible agreement we believe it is incumbent on us all to find a solution which brings about a serious step change in how the institutions must operate.
"I am not naive about the challenges facing all of us but I am hopeful that we can end the current crisis and restore the political institutions on the basis of equality and respect."
Powersharing has been in deep freeze since early this year when the late Sinn Fein deputy first minister Martin McGuinness resigned in protest at the DUP's handling of a botched green energy scheme which risks landing the taxpayer with millions of pounds of debt.
It has been seven months since Stormont ministers took decisions, and political negotiations were paused over the summer.
Referring to Brexit, Mr Adams added that the rights of workers, their jobs and standard of living are under threat, and that it presents "for the island of Ireland the most serious social, economic and political threat for a generation".