FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DERRY-LONDONDERRY AND STRABANE DISTRICT, NORTHERN IRELAND, TO COMMEMORATE A HISTORICAL MILESTONE AS THEY ANNOUNCE AS AN INTERNATIONAL CITY OF PEACE ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2023, THE UNITED NATIONS’ INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE.
On this 25-year anniversary of the accord reached on Good Friday, 1998, Derry-Londonderry and Strabane District of Northern Ireland will celebrate on September 21, 2023, the progress made on community peacebuilding as they officially announce as an International City of Peace. “By joining now with cities across the world in becoming a designated International City of Peace,” notes Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Patricia Logue, “we can continue to explore new pathways and programmes to enhance community relations and build a better place to live for everyone.”
After the public ceremony to be held in the historic Guildhall, attendees will gather at the foot of the Peace Bridge that spans the River Foyle for the unveiling of a newly designed Terrestrial Globe sculpture that will rest atop the City’s World Peace Flame.
After decades of peacebuilding within the City and surrounding community, Derry-Londonderry’s designation as an International City of Peace acknowledges a successful and continuing emergence from past violence into an era that has focused on the safety, prosperity and quality of life for all citizens. They join nearly 400 member Cities of Peace in the association of International Cities of Peace, yet their role among other global Cities of Peace is significant as an inspiration to other communities in the throngs of violence and those that are working for continual progress toward a deeper culture of peace.
Mayor Logue will officiate the ceremony, which will feature youth from area schools and colleges as well as government officials and dignitaries. The location of the proceeding is significant, as the City’s Guildhall is built on the site of an earlier town hall which was destroyed in the failed Siege of Derry in 1689. The Guildhall is near where the infamous Bloody Sunday occurred, which marked a nadir in the long journey through the Troubles.
Keynote speakers will include Mayor Longue, J. Frederick Arment, founder of International Cities of Peace, and David Latimer, Minister Emeritus of First Derry Presbyterian Church and author of A Leap of Faith: How Martin McGuinness and I Worked Together for Peace. “The citizens of Derry-Londonderry,” said Rev. Latimer, “have benefited from notable cross-community public representatives, who have toiled tirelessly to bring conflict to an end and shape a peaceful living space for people of all faiths and no faiths.”
The commemoration and celebration will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 21 in alignment with the United Nations World Peace Day. “Derry-Londonderry and the District of Strabane,” states J. Frederick Arment, “stand in the historical context as an inspiring case study of how a citizenry’s deep commitment to peacebuilding, reconciliation, and forward thinking can bring hope to a world that yearns to be released from violence toward a vision of global peace.”
International Cities of Peace is an association of nearly 400 member Cities of Peace in 73 countries on six continents. Recognized in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC, the United Nations body for NGOs, the organization defines peace as Safety, Prosperity, and Quality of Life: the Consensus Values of Peace™ around the globe.