Minister for European Affairs addresses the Forum for Cities in Transition Conference in Derry25 May 2011
Lucinda Creighton, T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for European Affairs, today addressed the members of the Forum for Cities in Transition at their second annual Conference which is taking place this week in Derry.
Noting that Ireland is committed to sharing the lessons learned from the Northern Ireland peace process with other regions with an experience of conflict, Minister Creighton said:
“One key aspect of my Department’s work is to share lessons learned from our own history with others who may be experiencing conflict in their own countries. The Northern Ireland situation, like all conflicts, has had its own particular characteristics and specific context. However, our experience of the collective and intense effort at all levels to find peace in an intractable historic conflict undoubtedly provides insights and lessons worth sharing. We also recognise that lesson-sharing is a two-way process, and there is much that Ireland can learn from others tackling the same challenges.”
Referring to the bomb which exploded in Derry city centre on Saturday, 21 May, Minister Creighton said:
“I would like to take this opportunity to condemn those responsible for the senseless incident which occurred last Saturday. There remain a small, unrepresentative and deeply misguided few who seek to drag us back to the bad old days. Their efforts are futile - the people of Ireland, north and south, have made it clear that they want a peaceful future. I commend each person who works at local level to advance that future and, in particular, everyone who helped local businesses, families and the public services to deal with the disruption caused on Saturday.”
Note for Editors:
The Forum for Cities in Transition is a framework in which representatives from cities emerging from or still in conflict have gathered together on annual basis for networking and peace-building purposes. The first annual conference was held in Mitrovica, Kosovo in 2010. Delegations from five cities - Derry, Belfast, Nicosia, Kirkuk and Mitrovica - participated in the initial conference.
Derry is hosting the second annual conference from 22-26 May. The conference is taking place in the Guildhall. Representatives from Northern Ireland (Belfast & Derry), Western Europe (Berlin & Nicosia), the Balkans (Mostar & Mitrovica), Iraq (Kirkuk), Lebanon (Beirut), the Middle East (Jerusalem, Haifa, & Ramallah) and Nigeria (Kaduna) are attending.
Funding support of €175,000 has been provided to the Conference from the Irish Aid programme, the Government’s programme of official overseas development assistance.