Bill and Hillary Clinton will speak at "The Dynamics of Peace: Reflections on the Achievements, Legacies, and Implications of the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement," a three-day event hosted by Queen's University Belfast April 17 - 19.

Former US President Bill Clinton and Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast Hillary Clinton are among the first global leaders to be announced as participants in an international conference to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement at Queen’s University Belfast.

President Clinton played a critical role in the negotiations leading up to the signing of the Agreement, signed on April 10, 1998, and has maintained a steady friendship in the region as it has served as a model for peace.

The University’s Chancellor Secretary Clinton will host the three-day conference, which aims to reflect upon how the Agreement was achieved in 1998 while also looking forward with a renewed commitment to resolving outstanding issues as society looks forward to the next 25 years.

Global, political, and civic leaders, past and present, are due to gather at Queen’s from April 17 - 19 in what is described as the signature event to mark the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement anniversary.

Breaking News: Our Chancellor @HillaryClinton & Former President of the #UnitedStates @BillClinton will be joining us at #Agreement25, to mark the 25th anniversary of the #BelfastAgreement / #GoodFridayAgreement.

Find out more: #GFA25

— Queen's University Belfast 🎓 (@QUBelfast) March 14, 2023

Speaking ahead of the event, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “Northern Ireland and Queen’s University are both close to Bill’s and my heart. It’s fitting that such a unique event will take place at Queen’s. The University makes a significant impact on the world through its outstanding research and innovation.

“I am proud to host this conference, which will bring together civic leaders who have contributed to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.”

I'll be hosting a conference at @QUBelfast next month to reflect on 25 years of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

Civic leaders who have contributed to peace and reconciliation will join @BillClinton and me to take stock of this historic turning point.

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 14, 2023

The three-day conference will be hosted by Queen's University Belfast in partnership with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils, the Council on Competitiveness, Women in Business, Politics in Action, and the Lyric Theatre, as well as Hillsborough Castle, where supporting events will also take place, including a programme for schools.

President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University, Professor Ian Greer said: “This signature event to mark the anniversary of the Agreement offers the opportunity to reflect upon and recognise the achievements of 25 years ago, which has led to significant progress in Northern Ireland, delivering greater prosperity and a safer and more inclusive society.

"We also want to look forward to how we address the major issues impacting society today so we can build on the current peace over the next 25 years. We look forward to an insightful event.”

Overall, the conference will have four themes: Celebrating the achievements of those who signed the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA); Recognising the role of women in peace building; Amplifying the voice of the next generation of young leaders; Creating a dialogue that proposes and considers social and economic solutions to the major issues that will impact the region over the next 25 years.

On March 14, organizers announced the schedule for the three days of programming, divided into the themes of reflect, renew, and reimagine:

  • April 17 - Reflect: Three panel discussions with the architects of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement in 1998: the UK and Irish governments, local political leaders from 1998; and the Guarantors (former UK, Irish, and US Administrations).
  • April 18 - Renew: Keynote addresses from senior government figures and other leaders followed by a recording of 'The Rest is Politics' podcast. The afternoon will be dedicated to a number of academic panel sessions delivered by The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University. These panels will discuss themes including Rights and Social Justice, Peacebuilding, Legacy, The Dynamics of Peace and Conflict, and The Impact on Victims.
  • April 19 - Reimagine: A breakfast conference hosted in association with the CBI NI and the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils. Northern Ireland Vision 2050 will focus on enhancing the economic prospects of Northern Ireland, and will include addresses from senior government officials and panel discussions with both local and global business leaders.

Organizers noted on March 14 that the online ballot for tickets has closed. Ticket holders will be notified a few weeks before the event. The event will also be live-streamed.

You can learn more about QUB's "The Dynamics of Peace: Reflections on the Achievements, Legacies, and Implications of the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement" programming here.