Derry or Londonderry – one place with two names - has an intriguing story and a special place in the history of Ireland, Britain and the world. From Colmcille through the siege of Derry and the plantation of Ulster to World War II; from the Civil Rights Marches through Bloody Sunday to the emerging Peace Process and the cessation of violence – Derry is the place where these significant episodes were thought about, fought about and worked through, shaping the histories of Ireland, Britain, America and the rest of the world.
2013 is a landmark year for the Derry~Londonderry, the Rotary Club of Londonderry, Peace studies at the local University and the Northern Irish peace process. It is:
• The 15th anniversary of the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement;
• The year that Derry will celebrate its designation as the UK’s first ever City of Culture;
• The 400th anniversary of the granting of the city’s charter and the name Londonderry;
• The 90th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Londonderry;
• The 20th anniversary of the founding of INCORE, the University of Ulster’s centre of excellence in peace studies.
President of the Club, Gavin Killeen says ‘We have designed a stimulating programme, which will provide delegates with the opportunity to engage with local and international peacemakers, political, community and business leaders, in the context of the ongoing culturally-led regeneration underway in this historic city’.
Sessions on the Northern Irish peace process will offer delegates a unique opportunity to witness peacebuilding as it unfolds, with participation from many of those who have made, and continue to make peace in Northern Ireland a reality.
Speakers confirmed include Rotary International world president Sakuji Tanaka, Roelf Mayer (Chief Negotiator for the South African National Party), Juan Jose Ibarretxe (former Basque President); ChouChou Namagambe (Gender Activist in Congo) and John Cullinane (US Entrepreneur involved in the Northern Irish Peace Process). These speakers will be joined by political, business and community leaders from Ireland, North and South.
President Killeen adds ‘Although much has been achieved in making peace in Northern Ireland, there are still sensitive issues to deal with so we can embed the peace and build social cohesion here. This Forum provides Rotarians with a chance to observe Northern Ireland’s journey from conflict, through reconciliation to peace, in the context of other International Peace Initiatives’
Details on the event can be accessed via http://www.rotaryglobalpeaceforumderry-