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Haass-O’Sullivan conference a success


Our recent Haass-O’Sullivan Talks: What do women think? Conference shone a bright light over women’s thoughts on dealing with the past.

The conference, held in conjunction with The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (CFNI) as part of the EU-funded Women and Peace Building Project, took place on 1st March at the Europa Hotel.

Women came from across Ireland to discuss the Haass-O’Sullivan talks, which took place last year in Margaret Ward at the Haass-O'Sullivan Conferencean attempt to resolve NI’s most divisive issues, but ended without a deal.

A panel of speakers gave their own input on the failed talks, including WRDA Director Anne McVicker, our former Director Dr Margaret Ward, political commentator Fionnuala O’Connor and Dr Louise Mallinder of the University of Ulster, who provided an extensive overview of the final draft of the proposals.

The audience had an opportunity to ask questions of the panel, with their queries covering everything from how to ensure women’s voices are heard by politicians to how to encourage more involvement from civic society.

Lunch and a lively discussion followed. Each table shared their views on how to confront dealing with the past and all of the difficult issues associated with it, such as parades and flags and emblems.

One idea that received a lot of support from the room was the possibility of holding a future conference on dealing with the past to which politicians from across the community would also be invited.

The event ended with a few words from Anne McVicker thanking people for their attendance and urging them to come along to our Women and Peace Building: Sharing the Learning conference on 20th March.

A report has now been put together based on the input given by all the attendees. Read it here!

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