1,000 plus visitors for Rotary conference

Pictured in the Legenderry Warehouse Cafe are, from left, Gavin Killeen, Alan McClure, manager Michael McLaughlin and Karen Desmond. (1112PG56)
Pictured in the Legenderry Warehouse Cafe are, from left, Gavin Killeen, Alan McClure, manager Michael McLaughlin and Karen Desmond. (1112PG56)

More than 1,000 Rotarians from around the world will see “culturally led regeneration” in action when they visit the city this summer, the President of Derry’s Rotary club has said.

The Rotary International conference or Global Peace Forum will be held in the city over the weekend of May 24-26.

The Rotary Club of Londonderry in partnership with the University of Ulster’s International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE), will host the event as part of Rotary’s year of ‘Peace through service’. The aim of the forum is to contribute to reconciliation, learning and full self expression for those involved in peacemaking and peacebuilding throughout the world, local Rotary club President Gavin Killeen stated.

“We have designed a stimulating programme, which will provide delegates with the opportunity to engage with local and international peacemakers, political, community and business leaders, in the context of the ongoing culturally-led regeneration underway in this historic city,” he said.

The organisers expect that more than 1,000 international delegates will attend the conference and many have already confirmed that they’ll attend.

Speakers confirmed for the event include Rotary International’s President, Sakuji Tanaka, Roelf Mayer (Chief Negotiator for the South African National Party), Juan Jose Ibarretxe (former Basque President); ChouChou Namagambe (Gender Activist in Congo) and John Cullinane (US Entrepreneur involved in the Northern Irish Peace Process). These speakers will be joined by political, business and community leaders from across Ireland. President Killeen added: “Although much has been achieved in making peace in Northern Ireland, there are still sensitive issues to deal with so we can embed the peace and build social cohesion here. This Forum provides Rotarians with a chance to observe Northern Ireland’s journey from conflict, through reconciliation to peace,.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the international community can learn much from Derry. A joint statement from OFMDFM added: “Its experiences have much to teach other areas of the world affected by conflict and violence and reflects what can be achieved with the collective effort and commitment of the community. We hope that this conference, with an international audience, will allow us to demonstrate the strides we have made over recent years and to reaffirm our commitment to addressing these challenges and tensions that remain within the spirit of mutual respect.Details on the event can be accessed via http://www.rotaryglobalpeaceforumderry-londonderry.com