Forward Thinking facilitated a visit for a group of Egyptian politicians to Belfast and Dublin 24-27 February. The aim of the visit was to share the Irish experience of conflict transformation and political and economic transition. The Egyptian delegation was made up of former members of parliament, political leaders and civil society activists from across the political spectrum.
There are no models for peace processes and political transition, politicians in Belfast and Dublin stated. The experience in Northern Ireland was unique as each conflict is experienced uniquely. However, by sharing experiences it is possible to reflect on one’s own situation with the aim of developing new thinking to address the challenges faced.
In Belfast and Dublin meetings were held with leaders from across the political parties, and the dialogue focused around several themes: the challenges of unity and division; how to deal with the past; power-sharing; beginning a peace process; building an inclusive political process; police and institutional reform; the role of local government;’ and the role of civil society.