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The Chairperson of the Committee for the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister, Mr Danny Kennedy, today attended a celebration of the International Day of Peace and the launch of the Global Peacebuilders project at the invitation of Springboard.

Speaking at the launch he welcomed the opportunity to join in the celebration of the International Day of Peace and, noting the aims of the Global Peacebuilders project, said:

“We have much to share with peacebuilders world-wide. Northern Ireland has come a long way from the dark days of 40 years ago when it was known world wide for the horror of the ‘Troubles’. The transformation here has not been achieved easily and we have not achieved it on our own. We have benefited from the advice, assistance and perseverance of many internationally renowned peacebuilders. But this has been matched by vitally important work by individuals; by communities; by organisations and numerous others in Northern Ireland who despite the many set backs continued to believe in, and work for, a peaceful society.

Mr Kennedy also acknowledged that:

“while we may want to ‘shout from the rooftops’ about the successes and progress which have been made from the worst days of the ‘Troubles’, we must remember that for many in Northern Ireland, particularly those who are victims or survivors, those living in poverty and those from our ethnic communities, there is still much work to be done”.

Following his speech Danny Kennedy had an opportunity to look at the Global Peacebuilders Project website which aims to showcase local peacebuilding experience on the worldwide market for skills, training and expertise in the design and implementation of peacebuilding strategy, underlining the opportunities for shared learning and exchange of effective practice.

Notes for editors

Springboard is a non-profit organisation with charitable status based in Belfast. Established in 1992, during the last fifteen years the organisation has offered integrated programmes that promote mutual understanding and enhance capacity.

The Committee for the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister is one of the statutory committees established by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 9 May 2007.

A motion was approved in the Assembly on Tuesday 12 June 2007 proposing that the committee’s name be changed from the Committee of the Centre to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

The role of the Committee as set out in Standing Orders for the Northern Ireland Assembly is “to advise and assist the First Minister and the deputy First Minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within their responsibilities as Ministers jointly in charge of the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister.”

Committee Membership: -
Danny Kennedy, Chairperson
Naomi Long, Deputy Chairperson
Martina Anderson
Tom Elliott
Dolores Kelly
Barry McElduff
Francie Molloy
Stephen Moutray
Jim Shannon
Jimmy Spratt
Jim Wells

All enquiries regarding the work of the Committee should be directed to the Committee Clerk: -
Christine Darrah
Room 242, Parliament Buildings
Tel: 028 9052 1629

Media enquiries should be addressed to the Northern Ireland Assembly Information Office: -
Room B2, Parliament Buildings Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX
Tel: 028 9052 1137