Church Leaders” Statement At “Faithful Peacebuilding Conference In Belfast

“Against the backdrop of continuing political instability, the experience of the Irish Churches’ Peace Project (ICPP) highlights the contribution of local leadership in rebuilding trust and overcoming remaining obstacles to peace in our society. Notwithstanding the considerable achievements of the peace process, seventeen years on from the Good Friday Agreement there is still significant untapped potential for the development of new relationships in local communities across Northern Ireland and the border region. We welcome the commitment of the European Union to further peace funding, as advocated by the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government.

Our pastoral experience makes us acutely aware that we cannot afford to be complacent about the enduring impact of division in our society, which manifests in multiple, often inter–connected, forms of exclusion. The threat to social cohesion arising from growing socio–economic inequality is a particular concern, notably in its implications for the younger generations. As the ICPP enters the final phase of its work we will be reflecting together on how we can continue to build on the new relationships that have been established to facilitate a truly inclusive dialogue about the kind of future we want for our local communities.

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