Northern Ireland news

Belfast to host international peace conference 20 years after GFA

Ulster University's Belfast campus will host the Build Peace conference
Gareth McKeown

TWENTY years on from the signing of the Good Friday Agreement a major international peace conference is taking place in Belfast this week.

The Build Peace conference, running from today until Wednesday, will welcome around 250 delegates to the city, primarily the Ulster University Belfast campus.

It is the first time the event, previously held in cities such as Boston, Nicosia, Zurich and Bogota will take place in the UK.

Approximately 900 bed nights have been taken up in local hotels for the conference and it is estimated it will deliver a £345,000 boost to Belfast’s economy.

This year's conference, which brings together academics, politicians and activists, will feature a wide range of short talks, workshops and conversations on the theme of 'Re-imagining Prosperity: Alternative Economies for Peace'.

One of the talks will be from Siobhan O’Neill, professor of Mental Health Services at Ulster University. She is scheduled to speak on the issue of transgenerational trauma.

Professor Duncan Morrow, director of community engagement at Ulster University said they are proud to be hosting the major international conference.

“Peace and conflict reconciliation is a key area of interest for Ulster University. As Northern Ireland’s civic university we’re proud to be involved in research with global significance that has a real impact on our local communities.

"That is why we’re delighted to be a part of the conference which brings together thought leaders from across the world, to showcase how we can use technology, innovation and research experience to build peace and transform our societies.”

Build Peace co-founder Helena Puig Larrauri added: "I am so glad that Build Peace is being hosted in Belfast, in this the 20th anniversary year of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. We’re excited to bring together practitioners, activists, academics, policy makers, artists and technologists from around the world to share experience and ideas on using technology, arts and other innovations for peacebuilding and conflict transformation."

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