Architects of Good Friday Agreement gather in Belfast for three-day conference

Architects of Good Friday Agreement gather in Belfast for three-day conference

SOME of the men and women deemed architects of the Good Friday Agreement will come together in Northern Ireland today to mark 25 years of the signing of the historic peace accord.

Queen’s University in Belfast is hosting political leaders from across the globe for its three Agreement 25 conference.

Among those in attendance are former US President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary Clinton, a former US Secretary of State who is also the Chancellor of the University, who will launch the event today.

They will be joined by the likes of former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, former US Senator George Mitchell, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who are all due to speak at the conference.

Former president of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, and DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr are also on the line up to speak at a series of panel discussion events taking place today, the first day of the conference.

A special In Memoriam panel event also due to be held today will remember those who have died who were pivotal in building peace in Northern Ireland, including David Ervine of the Progressive Unionist Party, former SDLP leader John Hume, former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam and former DUP leader Rev Ian Paisley.

Describing the conference, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University, Professor Ian Greer said: “This signature event to mark the anniversary of the Agreement offers the opportunity to reflect upon and recognise the achievements of 25 years ago, which has led to significant progress in Northern Ireland, delivering greater prosperity and a safer and more inclusive society.

“We also want to look forward to how we address the major issues impacting society today so we can build on the current peace over the next 25 years.

“We look forward to an insightful event.”