Queen’s Belfast/Good Friday Agreement events kick off with discussion session in Brussels
The first in a series of events reflecting on the achievements and impact of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement has taken place in Brussels.
The discussion, organised by Queen’s in collaboration with The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels, included a range of guests who had an input to the process including former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Lord Paul Murphy and former MLAs Baroness Margaret Ritchie, Dermot Nesbitt, Mitchell McLoughlin and Monica McWilliams.
Pictured L-R are: Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris MP, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Lord Paul Murphy, and Queen’s University Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Greer.
Speaking at the event, Queen’s University Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Greer, said: “The Peace Process attracted international involvement of the highest calibre with national leaders of the UK, Ireland, USA and Europe, along with many others, playing their part.
"But the most important driving force was the people of the region most affected by the conflict, and those that represented them. Risks had to be taken, leaps of faith were required and that needed unprecedented political courage and, above all, leadership.
"It is easy to follow and tell people what they want to hear, but leadership is about foresight, persuasion and the ability to stand up for what you believe in and lead others into a brave new world, even at huge personal risk to yourself. And we fortunately had that sort of leadership in abundance.
"We are hosting a series of discussions, that will culminate in a major three-day conference from 17-19 April, when we will mark the 25th anniversary of this remarkable achievement, but will also look to the future to see how we can make our society even more peaceful and prosperous and give our people the opportunity to have the future they all deserve.”
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