Development & Alumni Relations Office 


6 April 2018

Former President of the United States President Bill Clinton, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (both of whom are honorary graduates of Queen's), are to attend a special event at the University to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

The event, ‘Building Peace: 20 years on from the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement’, which is being organised by the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s University, is the only one of its kind to gather together so many of the key influencers on the Good Friday Agreement to marks its 20 year anniversary.

The Agreement, signed by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern on behalf of both governments on Friday 10 April, 1998 was approved by voters across the island of Ireland in two referendums held on 22 May 1998.

President Clinton will join Chair of the talks and former US Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, Senator George J. Mitchell, as well as Jonathan Powell, Bertie Ahern, Gerry Adams, Lord David Trimble, Professor Monica McWilliams, Dr Seamus Mallon, Lord John Alderdice and Peter Robinson, as well as a number of community leaders and academics.

Queen’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor James McElnay, said: “We are honoured and delighted to welcome President Clinton to Queen’s University to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. 

“His role and influence on the peace process in Northern Ireland was pivotal to ensuring all parties reached agreement in April 1998. To have him back Northern Ireland for this significant anniversary is a privilege.”

Queen’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation and Engagement, Professor Richard English, said: “The event at Queen’s which is gathering together all the key influencers from the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement period promises to not only reflect upon the achievements of twenty years ago, but to look at how far we have come and indeed how far we have to travel. 

“To have President Clinton, who was such a key figure in the process, joining us for these discussions at Queen’s is hugely significant.”

Speaking last month, Senator George J. Mitchell said: “I am delighted and honoured to be joining so many of the key players from the Good Friday Agreement at Queen’s University Belfast to mark its 20th anniversary. Queen’s is a world leader in global peace, security and justice so it is fitting that the key event marking the 20th anniversary takes place here.

“I look forward to sharing a celebration of what was achieved in 1998 with the people of Northern Ireland and those who were involved in getting us to the Agreement, as well as reflecting on the progress made since then and considering the challenges as we look to the future.”

For more on the work of the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s University Belfast email or telephone +44 (0)28 9097 3609/1346.

Further information on the event can be found at:

Media inquiries to Claire Kelly, Queen’s University Communications Manager, tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5391.

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