New Junior Ministers add their support for Cities in Transition
OFMdFM (Northern Ireland Executive)
26 May 2011
Junior Ministers Martina Anderson and Jonathan Bell today attended the Forum for Cities in Transition conference in the Beech Hill Country House Hotel, Derry-Londonderry.
Speaking at the conference dinner, Junior Minister Anderson said: “The fact that the Forum For Cities In Transition Conference is being held in Derry, is an endorsement of our work so far and an indication that we are following the right path. Change takes hard work and regeneration is key tool in effective conflict resolution and peace building.
“We are very proud of the progress in Derry and the new Peace Bridge is a symbol of a new beginning. It represents a real opportunity to improve relationships by transcending the physical divide of the river which, for far too long, has been viewed as a boundary between the Waterside and the city side and it is another step forward towards our vision of a shared and peaceful city becoming a reality.”
Junior Minister Bell added: “For so many years we have viewed those different to ourselves with suspicion, but over time we have begun to lean that differences in our society must cease to be barriers, they must be recognised and appreciated as adding diversity.
“We must continue to tackle all forms of intolerance. Everyone has a role to play in building a society that is inclusive and tolerant and we must encourage and enable them to take ownership of their shared future.”
The conference brings together citizens from cities divided by conflict, with the aim of encouraging mutual learning, dialogue and the resolution of conflict through non-violent methods. The members of the Forum for Cities in Transition chose Derry/Londonderry to host this year’s conference, because of their desire to come and learn firsthand from the city’s experiences of the peace process.