Derry-Londonderry aims to host international 2011 Cities in Transition conference
By Forum for Cities in Transition
28 May 2010
A delegation representing both main communities in Derry-Londonderry, at the conclusion of a nine-city international Forum for Cities in Transition conference held in Mitrovica, Kosovo, have announced that they wish to have Derry City Council host the event in 2011.
Making the announcement, SDLP former mayor, Councillor Gerard Diver explained:
“This inaugural annual conference of the Forum for Cities in Transition has been a tremendous experience for exchanging the lessons we have from all our respective cities.
“We discussed among all of our delegation — which included representatives across the political spectrum, and council staff, the business community, and the voluntary and community sector — and came to a unanimous agreement that hosting this annual event next year would be a wonderful opportunity to showcase our city, particularly in light of the Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 bid.”
Fellow local member of the Forum, current DUP deputy mayor, Councillor Maurice Devenney added:
“I strongly support this proposal. It will add to our city’s current regeneration process, and bring short and long-term economic and social benefits to the Northwest. This international conference will bring in dozens of delegates and scores of visitors, with many opportunities to highlight the rich heritage and culture of our city.”
Councillor Maeve McLaughlin, Sinn Fein leader on the council, further explained:
“The importance of these conferences is that they must focus on the practical outcomes, with real economic benefits to areas of need. In moving forward, it is important that those who suffered so much in conflict are not left behind in the peace.
A formal report will be made to Derry City Council for consideration, with plans to have a full council decision in the next few weeks.
The Forum for Cities in Transition is an international network of mayors, councillors, municipal officials, business people, and representatives of the voluntary and community sector.
The Forum works on the principle that cities that are in conflict or have emerged from conflict are in the best position to help other cities in the same situation.
The Forum for Cities in Transition is an initiative of the John Joseph Moakley Chair at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The Secretariat is shared by the Northern Ireland Foundation and the Moakley Chair. The Forum’s website is maintained by the Northern Ireland Foundation: http://citiesintransition.net
The inaugural annual conference of the Forum for Cities in Transition was held in Mitrovica, Kosovo, from 24-28 May 2010, and hosted by the Mitrovica Forum. The participating cities were: Beirut, Derry/Londonderry, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kirkuk, Mostar, Nicosia, and Mitrovica itself.
The delegation from Derry-Londonderry was: Derry City Councillors Gerard Diver, Maeve McLaughlin, and Maurice Devenney (in absentia); Brian Dougherty (St Columbs Park House); Michael Doherty (Peace and Reconciliation Group); Jim Roddy (City Centre Initiative); Willie Lamrock (UUP); Chris Yates (PSNI); supported by Angela Askin (Good Relations Officer, Derry City Council).