As part of Community Relations Week the Community Relations Council is today (30 April) holding its annual policy conference at the Europa Hotel in Belfast. In the year that marks 40 years since the first civil rights marches, ten years since the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and one year since the restoration of devolution, the conference is using a good relations lens to ask what now lies ahead.
CRC Chief Executive, Duncan Morrow, said: ‘Peace is still very much a work in progress. Shared government is a huge step forward, but it is not the end of the journey. Through this conference, the Council wants to explore what still needs to be done to turn truce into transformation.’
Participants to this important policy forum are drawn widely from the public, voluntary and community sector as well as from elected public representatives. Through a series of workshops the conference will examine the challenges and opportunities of devolution, whether we are more polarized than ten years ago, whether we are ‘sharing out’ or sharing, and what the priorities should be.
One of the workshops will examine the relationship between Good Relations, Human Rights and Equality and their importance in peace-building. Speakers here will include Bob Collins of the Equality Commission NI and Monica McWilliams of the NI Human Rights Commission. Other workshops include how we plan to create and maintain shared spaces, the role of the arts in transforming our communities, policing and justice in a transforming society, and the roles of both the community sector and the media in peace-building.
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Note to Editor:
The CRC Policy Conference is one of around 140 events taking place during Community Relations Week (26 April – 3 May). Community Relations Week 2008 is co-ordinated by the Community Relations Council, on the theme ‘Work in Progress…towards a shared and better future’, and includes events organised by district councils and other public bodies as well as by voluntary and community groups. For details see www.nicrc.org.uk