Wednesday 8th February 2023

1800 - 2030 CET

The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels in collaboration with Queen's University Belfast will host a panel discussion to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. This event is a special opportunity for conversation and reflection on the journey of the peace process in Northern Ireland. This timely forum will bring together key individuals for a panel discussion which will focus on the two major themes of ‘Guaranteeing Peace’ and ‘Reaching Agreement - How the deal was done’.


Opening Remarks: Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast

Panel chair: Katy Hayward, Professor of Political Sociology at Queen’s University Belfast

Panel One: Reaching Agreement- How the deal was done

  • Dermot Nesbitt, former UUP politician and senior negotiator in the negotiations leading to the Belfast Agreement, Queen’s alumnus

  • Margaret Ritchie, Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick, former leader of the SDLP, Minister for Social Development, MLA, MP and Queen’s alumnus

  • Monica McWilliams, former leader of the Women’s Coalition, Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission, MLA, Queen’s alumnus and Honorary Graduate Professor

  • David Ford, former leader of the Alliance Party, Minister for Justice, MLA, and Queen’s alumnus

  • Mitchel McLaughlin, former Speaker of the NI Assembly and Sinn Féin MLA, Honorary Professor of Practice

Panel Two: Guaranteeing Peace

  • Bertie Ahern, former Taoiseach, Honorary Queen's Professor in Peace Studies

  • Paul Murphy, Lord Murphy of Torfaen, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Other guest speakers to be confirmed


Registration will open at 17:30, with the main event beginning at 18:00.

Following presentations, there will be an opportunity to network.

Refreshments will be provided.


Office of the Northern Ireland Executive Brussels

180 Chaussée d’Etterbeek, 1040 Brussels

To attend, kindly RSVP to BrusselsEvents@executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk or

Registration is essential.