Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to use the Irish American assistance to the Irish peace process as an example to other ethnic groups how to deal with their regional conflicts.

She has asked the State Department to host a conference later this year to share how the Irish American community succeeded in helping bring about peace in Ireland.

Speaking at the American Ireland Fund dinner in Washington this week, Clinton cited the fund as an example of an organization that helped create conditions for peace in Northern Ireland.

"We will continue to use the Northern Ireland peace process as a model for other nations struggling to end conflict, just as the work of the Irish American community in supporting that process is a model," she said.

"I have heard from leaders of several countries who have studied not only what happened in Northern Ireland but what happened in the Irish American community to enable it.

“And one of the ways that worked was through this Fund. And so taking the experience of this Fund and the Irish American community, I helped to celebrate the launch of the American Pakistan Foundation.

“And efforts are now underway to engage communities in America with ties to Mexico, Haiti, Kenya, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and other countries. These communities of the diaspora fill a critical niche. We want to begin to support them to do what the Irish American Community has done: to reach back, to make contributions, and to assist on the road to peace.

“ So I’m delighted to announce that the State Department will help spread the model of the American Ireland Fund through a conference we will hold later this year to share best practices and smart ideas for engaging global diaspora communities."