Irish Times
18 Apr 2012

AN INTERNATIONAL conference on the Northern Ireland peace process will take place in Dublin next week.

The conference, the first of its kind to be hosted by the Government, will be held in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Friday, April 27th.

Former US senator George Mitchell and former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, the most prominent outsiders involved in the peace process, will take part in the conference.

The Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will also take part.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, the deputy chief constable of the PSNI and the Garda commissioner will also take part.

The speakers will offer their perspectives on how the Belfast Agreement was achieved and how its operation has transformed the politics and the daily lives of the people living in Northern Ireland.

One of the key messages of the conference will be that the agreement has brought real value to the quality of life for people living throughout the island of Ireland but particularly for both communities in the North.

The transformation of the relationship between Ireland and Britain, as symbolised by the visit of Queen Elizabeth last year, will be another theme, as will the role international support played in the peace process.

The conference is being organised as part of Ireland’s chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and aims to encourage those seeking to resolve conflicts.