FCT 2014 Poster

The FCT Belfast group announces the
5th Annual Gathering of the Forum for Cities in Transition,
27-30th October 2014

The fifth annual gathering of the Forum for Cities in Transition will bring 100 delegates from 14 cities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa to Belfast for a week in October to learn, explore and share their challenges and successes:

1. Baghdad 5. Jerusalem 9. Mitte (Berlin) 13. Srbrenica
2. Belfast 6. Kaduna 10. Mostar 14. Tripoli (Lebanon)
3. Derry-Londonderry 7. Kirkuk 11. Ramallah
4. Haifa 8. Mitrovica 12. Sarajevo

The event will be interactive, grassroots-focussed and will emphasise practical outcomes.

The Forum shall monitor the progress of the bilateral project initiatives pledged at the previous event held in Kaduna, Nigeria, 4-8th November 2013, as well as increase knowledge transfer of lessons between the member cities, and with local representatives.

Under the theme of “Promoting Reconciliation through Resilience”, the four-day event will include the following topics, introduced in plenary sessions and developed in facilitated workshop sessions:

  1. Reconciliation (how far have we come? how far have we to go?)
  2. Victims and Survivors (appropriate services and representation)
  3. Community Leadership (toolsets for practitioners)
  4. City Leadership (strong, fair, together)

Delegates will come from a variety of backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of FCT membership:

  • Elected local government representatives
  • Municipal executive officers
  • Business people
  • Civil society organisations (voluntary and community sector)

Activities will include:

  1. Panel discussions
  2. Workshop sessions
  3. Site visits
  4. Sidebar meetings
  5. Exhibitions

In addition, this gathering will develop the internal networks of FCT Women, FCT Youth, and a newly proposed FCT Business Network.

The event will be convened by Professor Padraig O’Malley (McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston), who serves as Director of the Forum for Cities in Transition. The citizens of Belfast welcome you to our city.


Dear Friend

The Belfast Forum of the Forum for Cities in Transition is delighted to be hosting the 5th

Annual Gathering. Forum members consist of representatives of local authorities, political parties, community and voluntary sector, church, local police and business.

We have been working tirelessly since the FCT gathering in Kaduna, Nigeria, last year, to ensure the success of this year’s event.

The organisation of such a prestigious gathering has taken a lot of hard work and effort from a lot of people to ensure that it meets the objectives of the organisers, participants and funders. We are very proud of the programme that has been developed. We hope it will provide you with a meaningful insight into the complex challenges facing Belfast today, and provide you with positive examples of how reconciliation and peace can be built in a divided city.

On behalf of the FCT Belfast group, I remain yours, respectfully,

Tim Attwood

The 5th annual gathering of the Forum for Cities in Transition: PRESS STATEMENT



1900-1930 Dan GORDON: ‘An Introduction to Belfast’

1930-2000 Maire HENDRON (Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast): SPEECH


Venue: Belfast Metropolitan College, E3 Springvale Capus

0830-0930 Opening/Welcome Statements: [Visitors Welcomed]

  • Tim ATTWOOD (FCT Belfast): Introductions: SPEECH
  • Jennifer McCANN MLA (Junior Minister of Northern Ireland): SPEECH / PRESS STATEMENT
  • Padraig O’MALLEY (FCT Director): SPEECH

0930-1015 Keynote Speakers UK-ROI Perspectives: [Visitors Welcomed]

  • Rt Hon Theresa VILLIERS MP (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland): SPEECH

1045-1230 Local Speakers Local Perspectives: [Visitors Welcomed]

  • Sean BRENNAN (FCT Belfast): Introductions

Seamus McKEE (Interviewer)

[Belfast City Council Party Group Nominees:]
  • Paula BRADSHAW (Alliance)

1330-1630 Workshop Discussions World Café style:

  1. Reconciliation and Young People:
  • David ROBINSON (FCT Belfast) (Host)
  • Doug SMITH (Youth Initiatives)
  • Paul SMYTH (Public Achievement)
  1. Reconciliation and Ex-Combatants/
  • Chris MACCABE (FCT Belfast) (Host)
  • Tim BRANNIGAN (Coiste)
  • Ciaran de BAROID (CFNI)
  1. Reconciliation and Policing & Justice:
  • Tim ATTWOOD (FCT Belfast) (Host)
  • Debbie WATTERS (Alternatives)
  1. Reconciliation and Community Relations:
  • Sean BRENNAN (FCT Belfast) (Host)
  • Johnston PRICE (Forthspring)
  • Gary MASON (NIAMH)
  1. Reconciliation and Religion:
  • Mervyn JONES (FCT Belfast) (Host)
  • Lesley CARROLL
  • Fr Martin MAGILL
  1. Reconciliation and Women:
  • Ann DEIGHAN (FCT Belfast) (Host)
  • Bronagh HINDS
  • Claire HANNA

1630-1730 Plenary
[Visitors Welcomed]
Feedback from Workshop Discussions:

  • Sean BRENNAN (FCT Belfast) (Chair)
  • Padraig O’MALLEY (FCT Director)
  • Brandon HAMBER (INCORE): Preview Victims & Survivors

2000-2200 Dinner Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings

  • Tim ATTWOOD (FCT Belfast): Introductions
  • Jim WELLS MLA (Dinner Sponsor)


Venue: Skainos Centre

0830-1130 Workshops/Site Visits [Delegates select and visit one of following sites:]

Victims & Survivors:

Charting provision for victims and survivors, including legislation, services, development of victims groups, outstanding issues.

  • Sandra PEAKE (WAVE) (support group)
  • Tim ATTWOOD (FCT Belfast)
  • Mark THOMPSON (Relatives for Justice) (support group)
  • Sean BRENNAN (FCT Belfast)
  • Kate TURNER (Healing through Remembering) (community processes)
  • Chris MACCABE (FCT Belfast)
  • Mark HAMILTON (RUC/PSNI Memorial)
  • Laura McNAMEE (FCT Belfast)

1130-1300 Plenary Feedback from Workshops/Site Visits: [Visitors Welcomed]

  • Laura McNAMEE (FCT Belfast) (Chair)
  • Alan McBRIDE (WAVE)

1400-1700 City/Regional Briefings: [Visitors Welcomed]

  • Tim ATTWOOD (FCT Belfast): Introductions
  • Charlie SENNOTT (Chair)

Middle East I:

  • Baghdad
  • Kirkuk: SPEECH
  • Tripoli

1400-1700 Parallel Sessions FCT Women’s Network:

  • Emanuela DEL RE
  • Paula RAYMAN

1700-1715 Plenary Close: [Visitors Welcomed]

  • Pete SHIRLOW (FCT Belfast): Introductions
  • Padraig O’MALLEY (FCT Director)
  • Adrian JOHNSTON (IFI Board): Preview Community Leadership

2000-2200 Dinner Banquet Hall, Belfast City Hall

  • Tim ATTWOOD (FCT Belfast): Introductions
  • Nichola MALLON (Lord Mayor of Belfast): SPEECH


Venue: Farset International

0830-1130 Workshops/Site Visits [Delegates tour sites, followed by discussion at one of four designated venues:]

Community Leadership:

Community leadership in a divided community; peaceline projects, community groups, churches.

Peace Wall Programme of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI):

  1. Black Mountain Shared Space Project (BMSSP) (West Belfast)
  2. Duncairn Community Partnership (DCP) (North Belfast)
  3. Greater Whitewell Community Surgery (GWCS) (North Belfast); see (2)
  4. Lower Oldpark/Cliftonville Regeneration (LOCA/CCRF) (North Belfast)
  5. Suffolk-Lenadoon Interface Group (SLIG) (West Belfast)
  6. Twaddell Ardoyne Shankill Crumlin in Transition (TASCIT) (North Belfast); see (4)

1130-1300 Plenary Feedback from Workshops/Site Visits: [Visitors Welcomed]

Strategic focus on community work at interfaces

  • Sean FARREN (FCT Belfast): Introductions
  • Adrian JOHNSTON (Chair, International Fund for Ireland)
  • Peter OSBORNE (Chair, Community Relations Council)
  • David FORD (Minister of Justice): PRESS STATEMENT

1400-1700 City/Regional Briefings: [Visitors Welcomed]

  • Laura McNAMEE (FCT Belfast): Introductions
  • Beverley MILTON-EDWARDS (Chair)

Middle East II:

  • Jerusalem
  • Haifa
  • Ramallah

1400-1700 Parallel Sessions Belfast Community Relations Work:

  • Dympna McGLADE

1930-2200 Dinner Local Community Dinners

[Delegates divided into three venues:]
  1. Cultúrlann (West Belfast)
    • Eimear
  2. Duncairn Centre (174 Trust) (North Belfast)
    • Bill SHAW
  3. Riddel Hall (FCT Business Network; invite only)
    • Quintin OLIVER (Stratagem International)
    • James HOLMES (Northern Ireland Foundation)
    • Yannick Du Pont (SPARK)
    • Northern Ireland Government senior representative]


Venue: Belfast City Hall

0900-1030 Workshop FCT City Workshops

[Delegates prepare city pledges]

1115-1145 Welcome Statement: [Visitors Welcomed]

  • Tim ATTWOOD (FCT Belfast) (Chair)
  • Martin McGUINNESS (deputy First Minister, Northern Ireland): PRESS STATEMENT

1145-1230 Introduction City Leadership: [Visitors Welcomed]

  • Tim ATTWOOD (FCT Belfast) (Chair)
  • Suzanne WYLIE (Chief Executive, Belfast City Council)
  • Gerry MILLAR (Parks & Projects Department)
  • Nicola LANE (Good Relations Manager)

1330-1430 Plenary Conference Outcomes: [Visitors Welcomed]

  • Nancy RIORDAN (FCT Secretariat)
  • Allan LEONARD (FCT Secretariat)

1430-1530 Plenary FCT Way Forward:

  • Lesley CARROLL (FCT Belfast)
  • Padraig O’MALLEY (FCT Director)

2000-2200 Dinner Belfast Harbour Commissioner’s Office

  • Allan LEONARD (FCT Belfast): Introductions
  • Jonathan BELL (Junior Minister of Northern Ireland)
  • Kabosh Theatre: “Those You Meet on The Street” performance 

The Forum for Cities in Transition (FCT) is explicitly grounded in there being tangible outcomes at the close of each conference, a commitment made by each city to carrying out a project that will further transition, reconciliation, and development in its own city and/or to help one of its sister cities where its expertise in a particular area can be of significant benefit. Commitments are designed so that cities on the higher rungs of transition assist those on the lower rungs. They are embodied in the principle that divided cities collectively can do together what they cannot do separately.

The process is reciprocal because in serving their sister cities, those further along in transition are sharply reminded of where they once were, where they are now, and where they hope to go in continuing their own processes of transition and reconciliation.

In accordance with the mission statement of the FCT, the emphasis is the realisation the of practical outcomes that would assist participating cities improve the daily lives of their citizens, and enhance engagement between officials, NGOs, and residents.

As a result of the extensive one to one networking, bilateral and multilateral deliberations that took place among city delegations in Belfast, both in formal and informal sessions, the following projects were pledged as the outcomes of the 2014 Forum for Cities in Transition gathering:


  • Renew the call to hold the FCT in Baghdad
  • Twin our city with Nicosia
  • Youth Conference to create work opportunities on the basis of investment

Belfast & Derry-Londonderry

  • Police exchange module/academic course, include the role of female police
  • Survivors and dealing with the past and PTSD


  • Invite officials from Kaduna to Haifa to build a program to bring women leaders to Haifa for empowerment training; agricultural training and knowledge training
  • East Jerusalem/Haifa women’s meeting


  • Physical infrastructure improvements achieved mutually between City Council and residents
  • Social infrastructure – new program for children and parents, drug prevention, violence prevention, help at risk youth, Older Brother program, 10 new emergency teams, 3 new gym halls, one centre for disabled and 5 new schools
  • Supply materials for residents who want to build


  • Joint activity with Haifa
  • Hold an in country conference with Africa FCT Hub
  • FCT Youth Conference


  • Reconstruction of schools and university
  • Build sports centre
  • Build a new power station
  • CCTV cameras in order to secure the city
  • Agricultural improvement projects to help farmers purchase seeds


  • Municipal officials will be at FCT next year
  • Police exchange with Derry-Londonderry
  • Balkan cities will develop youth and women business projects
  • Youth project with Belfast
  • Participation in Women’s Forum


  • Vocational training exchange
  • Procurement Department internship
  • Student exchange

Mostar, Srebrenica, Sarajevo

  • FCT Business Award event
  • Business Trainings
  • Business Plans
  • Organize of School of Human Rights with Mitrovica
  • Media literacy
  • Cooperation between Mitte to increase employment opportunities through training


  • Engage with Republic of Cyprus so that we will have full representation at FCT
  • Explore possible opportunities to establish a Good Relations unit
  • Involved in youth and women’s forum



  • New collaborative project
  • Continue to prevent violence and preparedness of emergency services and create cultural events to present the real image of our city

FCT Secretariat

  • Craigavon formally invited to become FCT member city
  • Rotary Club agreed to link member cities with the clubs in their city
  • Conference will be held two days before next year’s FCT conference
  • UN Habitat committed to assisting
  • Generation TBD committed to sending young journalists next year’s FCT

FCT Women’s Forum

  • Create a document, Memo of Understanding
  • This will create a group in order to help the individuals and will also allow us to seek funding more productively

FCT Youth

  • FCT Youth Conference

The effectiveness of the FCT depends on the above outcomes being translated into action. The FCT Secretariat pledges to follow up on every outcome agreed to ensure implementation but ultimately, responsibility for and action towards project implementation belongs to the cities themselves.

FCT Secretariat
October 2014



Report of the fifth annual gathering of the Forum for Cities in Transition: LINK