A conference to encourage new thinking and research in the field of peacebuilding and reconciliation 

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, we hosted the international conference, Peace and Beyond in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The three-day conference aimed to encourage new thinking and research in the field of peacebuilding and reconciliation by bringing together practitioners, academics, policy makers and young leaders from 28 countries.

Speakers included:

  • South African advocate Thuli Madonsela, who worked closely with former President Nelson Mandela on the final constitution of South Africa
  • Professor Monica McWilliams, who played a significant role in the negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday/Belfast Agreement
  • and Senator George J. Mitchell, President Bill Clinton’s former Special Envoy for Northern Ireland

Conference findings

Reports on all the conference key themes including resilient cities, the role of technology, engendering peacebuilding and embracing marginalised communities can be found here.

Alison Baily, Security and Stability analyst at the British Council, gives her view on the conference

Watch highlights from Day 2 at Titanic Belfast:

What delegates said:

"The conference provided a unique safe space for international dialogue. No other organisation could have convened such an impressive speaker and delegate profile."

"The depth and honesty of conversations and input was fantastic."

"Belfast was the perfect location to host the conference. It is a city committed to peace – even when it is a struggle."

"The site visits were a chance to see how the agreement affected the everyday people in Belfast and how it is still affecting them. One session gave insight in to how the young are dealing with segregation and bias - they are the future and very capable of leading change if given the chance."

"I was inspired to go for a revolutionary approach regarding education. It happened during our session Embracing our most marginalised".

The 2018 conference was organised by the British Council in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University and in association with the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building

See also