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Queen's delivers first Positive Peace Leadership Workshop to explore post-conflict resilience

The first Positive Peace Leadership workshop was delivered today (17 May) by the William J. Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen’s Management School in partnership with the Institute for Economics and Peace.

This is the first time that the training has been faciliated at a city level in Northern Ireland, and was delivered for Belfast City Council and funded by the British Council Northern Ireland.

The training was part of a five day visit to Belfast by senior representatives from two Colombian cities, Cali and Medellin.

Belfast, Cali and Medellin are all members of the 100 Resilient Cities network and have been working together since October 2018 to identify ways of solving shared urban problems.

The William J. Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen’s Management School facilitated an interactive leadership workshop on the Positive Peace Framework in partnership with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). The Framework is built on analysis of thousands of measures of economic and social progress across the partner cities. Its aim is to measure resilience and progress and help predict the likelihood of conflict and stability with participants developing project ideas to bring back to their cities.

Enda Young, Programme Director at the William J. Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen's Management School said: “We are delighted to have the IEP back with us in Riddel Hall to build on the partnership between our two Institutes. It’s been great to explore the connections between leadership and a positive peace with Belfast City Council and senior representatives from two Columbia’s Cities thanks to the British Council.”

Grainia Long, Commissioner for Resilience at Belfast City Council commented: “People might wonder what Belfast has in common with two Colombian cities – but we’re facing remarkably similar challenges in post-conflict societies. And we’re all focused on finding better ways to support community leadership, improve mental health, and give more inclusive access to skills development and jobs.

“What unites us is our focus on getting to grips with the problems and needs of our cities and then working with our city partners to make change happen. Resilience is built by strengthening our knowledge base and our ability to prepare for and recover from shocks and stresses. And by sharing experiences, we can hopefully find better ways forward.”

The visit is part of an 18 month exchange programme funded by the International Urban Cooperation (IUC) programme for sustainable urban development. The group looked at social inclusion, urban innovation, urban innovation and inclusive economic growth as they met with a range of community and public sector leaders, toured the city and viewed the peace walls.

Juan Camilo Cock, Deputy Secretary of Territories of Inclusion and Opportunities, City of Cali, Colombia said: “Our work to date shows us that simply addressing the factors that led to violence in the past will not be enough to sustain peace. To improve and extend peace, we need to involve leaders right across the city, from the grassroots up.

“Seeing the strength of community based initiatives in Belfast and working together to develop the Positive Peace Leadership programme has given us a fresh perspective on the challenges we face in Colombia. We can only stand to gain from working together towards the same goals, when we bring the same levels of energy and commitment to improve quality of life in our cities.”

For more information on Resilient Belfast please visit: www.belfastcity.gov.uk/resilientbelfast

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