DUBLIN, 18 April 2012 – The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Eamon Gilmore, will host a high-level conference at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, in Dublin, on 27 April 2012, on the Northern Ireland peace process.
This is the first time that the Irish Government will host an international conference of this kind. The aim of the conference is to present the example of the Northern Ireland peace process as a case study which might encourage those engaged in efforts to resolve other conflicts, including those in the OSCE region. The conference will focus on the political process which led to the settlement and is sustaining it, as well as on policing and justice issues, accommodating and respecting different traditions, and the international dimension to the achievement of the settlement.
The OSCE Chairperson will deliver the opening address. The conference will be moderated by the former President of Finland and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Martti Ahtisaari, who will bring his unique experience of conflict resolution and mediation to bear on discussions. Other speakers at the opening session include the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, and the First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland, Peter D. Robinson and Martin McGuinness. The OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier, will also address the opening session.
Recognising that no two conflict situations are the same, the Irish OSCE Chairmanship will not be prescribing at the conference models or blueprints for action. Rather, the focus will be on an exchange of experience, with particular emphasis on how the Good Friday Agreement was achieved, how the political trust needed for it was built up, how its operation has transformed the politics and the daily lives of people living in Northern Ireland, and how the post-conflict political processes and institutions are functioning today.
Minister of State, Brian Hayes will deliver an address on commemorations, while the Senator George Mitchell will deliver the keynote address at the final session. Other speakers will include Minister of Justice in the Northern Ireland Executive, David Ford, the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, the Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Judith Gillesepie, and representatives of political parties involved in the Good Friday negotiations.
Representatives of 56 OSCE participating States, the OSCE Partners for Co-operation, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the OSCE Institutions will attend the conference.
Media representatives are invited to be present for the opening speeches, which will take place from 09.30-10.30. There will be press facilities on site for media.
Media intending to cover the event are asked to register with the Press Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade by noon on Monday 23 April [Telephone + 353-1 4082275 or by e-mail to email@example.com].
For further information please contact Clare Brosnan, firstname.lastname@example.org , T (+353-1) 408 2770 / M (+353) 87-243 8291