Peace institute draws on North’s experiences

A NEW booklet published by the Limerick-based Irish Peace Institute is to be sent to groups around the world involved in conflict to help cultivate reconciliation.

The booklet is the first of a series of six which set out to explore Irish and international experiences of negotiations for political settlements to conflict.

Dr Matt Cannon of the peace institute, who has compiled the booklets, has drawn on the experiences of such figures as Senator George Mitchell, John Hume and David Trimble.

Dr Cannon, at the launch of the first booklet in Limerick at the weekend said: “The series of booklets will explore Irish and international experiences with negotiations for a political settlement that has wider resonance for political and community leaders in other contexts.

“Of special interest is the strategic thinking that informed both the success and failures of the Northern Ireland experience as well as other conflicts.”

The first booklet titled Mankind Must Manage a World Without War highlights the Irish experience, particularly the thinking behind the Good Friday Agreement.

Dr Cannon said: “This is a useful starting point for the series with contributions from many of the central figures.”

Future editions of the series of six will include high profile contributors such as former European Commission President Romano Prodi, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Nobel Laureate Lech Walesa.

The idea of the booklets came from Dr Brendan O’Regan, the founder and patron of the Irish Peace Institute. Dr O’Regan is credited with innovative ideas including the setting up of Shannon Airport’s Duty Free and the Shannon Free Industrial Zone.

The Irish Peace Institute is celebrating 21 years of contributions to peace building by focusing on achievements in conflict resolution and peace building and looking at ways the Irish experience can inform other conflicts.

Peace institute chairman, retired UN peacekeeper Colonel Michael Shannon said: “It is our belief that the peace institute continues to contribute to peacebuilding with each passing year; building on its past success as a catalyst for North-South co-operation and its ability to bridge the academic and practical. The peace institute provides quality projects at a local level, while looking at ways the experience of peace building in Northern Ireland can be transferred to other incidents of violence at home and abroad.”

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