GFCC President to join world leaders in Ireland for the celebration of the Good Friday Agreement
GFCC President, Deborah L. Wince-Smith, will be among the world leaders who will gather in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from April 17 to 19 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. This historic diplomatic achievement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, put an end to decades of violence and political conflict in Northern Ireland.
The event will be hosted by Queen's University of Belfast, a GFCC member, and will also feature the presence of former United States (US) Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who has been Chancellor of Queen's University since 2020, and former US President, Bill Clinton, alongside other prominent figures.
During the celebration, Deborah L. Wince-Smith will speak about the importance of the Good Friday Agreement and its impact on Northern Ireland and the world. She will also reflect on the relevance of competitiveness and innovation in driving a future vision for the region.
"The tripartite Good Friday Agreement was a major triumph for bringing peace and stability to Northern Ireland after generations of sectoral strife and insecurity. With the celebration at Queen’s University of the 25th anniversary of the historic Belfast Agreement, we see Northern Ireland accelerating inclusive economic growth and high value investment as it builds a new future as a center of creativity, advanced manufacturing, and innovation, delivering shared prosperity to all its citizens," commented GFCC President Deborah L. Wince-Smith.
Reached in 1998 between the British and Irish governments, the US and most political parties in Ireland, the peace agreement was responsible for installing institutions to address policing, human rights, and decommission of paramilitary weapons.
"This signature event to mark the anniversary of the Agreement offers the opportunity to reflect upon and recognize 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," said Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University.
As part of the celebrations, the GFCC and Queen's University will host an economic summit on April 19. The event will feature two panels focusing on the future economic opportunities of Northern Ireland and will be live-streamed on the Queen's website. More information on the summit will be released shortly.