Peacebuilders and Leaders to Mark 25 Years of Northern Ireland’s Good Friday Agreement, Pay Tribute to President Carter at Atlanta Event

Carter Center logo, Good Friday Agreement logo, and Ireland logo

ATLANTA — This spring marks the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of violence and established inclusive, democratic power-sharing institutions in Northern Ireland. On May 4, the Consulate General of Ireland in Atlanta and The Carter Center will co-host a commemorative event and reception with special guests representing diplomats, peacebuilders, and leaders from Northern Ireland and the United States.

Barbara J. Stephenson, former U.S. ambassador and American consul general in Belfast, will moderate a discussion with speakers from Northern Ireland — Bronagh Hinds, Emma Johnston, Jarlath Kearney, and Mike Nesbitt. Carter Center Board Chair Jason Carter and CEO Paige Alexander will deliver remarks. Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland from 2003 to 2007, will share his reflections on the role of the United States. The powerful contribution of women to the Northern Ireland peace process will be highlighted through the "Peace Heroines" exhibition.

The event will pay special tribute to the contribution of President Jimmy Carter, who in 1977 issued the first formal statement on Northern Ireland by a U.S. president. His groundbreaking initiative established the precedent for the pivotal role succeeding U.S. presidents played in securing the peace.

Throughout the peace process, the bipartisan support of the many friends of Ireland across all levels of government and from communities in every U.S. state was essential, and that friendship remains cherished to this day.

Ireland’s consul general in Atlanta, Caoimhe Ní Chonchúir, underlined the importance of recognizing the U.S. role in achieving peace:

“While the Agreement belongs, first and foremost, to the people of Northern Ireland, it was, in many ways, born of hope made in America,” she said. “Successive U.S. leaders, starting with President Carter, helped drive the process forward. This event will celebrate the Good Friday Agreement as a triumph of the best of U.S. foreign policy.”

Alexander reflected on the Carter Center’s involvement in commemorating the Agreement:

"More than two decades before the Good Friday Agreement was signed, President Carter aligned himself with those in Northern Ireland who were advocating for peace and nonviolence," she said. "He helped lay the groundwork for the Agreement, and it is our honor to co-host this event to celebrate with the people of Northern Ireland."

The Good Friday Agreement, signed in Belfast on April 10, 1998, and then endorsed by an overwhelming majority in referendums the following month, provided the foundation for a peaceful, prosperous society. The May 4 event at The Carter Center will be an opportunity to commemorate this historic achievement, reflect on its lessons, and redouble commitments to supporting peace in Northern Ireland.

The "25 Years of the Good Friday Agreement" commemoration will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 4, in the nondenominational Cecil B. Day Chapel at The Carter Center, 453 John Lewis Freedom Parkway N.E., Atlanta, GA 30307.


The Carter Center: Amanda Larson,
Consulate General of Ireland in Atlanta: 404-554-4980,

The Carter Center
Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care.  The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.