22/05/2008

Virtual Ex-PM To Address Belfast Conference

There'll be a former premier and a 'virtual' ex-premier in attendance today as a major post-peace process conference kicks off in Belfast

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern are to receive honorary doctorates from Queen's University.

Mr Blair's appearance will be by pre-recorded video link while Mr Ahern is expected to accept his in person.

They are receiving law doctorates for distinction in public service and their roles in the peace process.

It marks the start of a two-day conference, led by former talks Chairman, George Mitchell, at the university.

The joint initiative with Georgetown University is examining the lessons of the Northern Ireland peace process and how it can help other trouble spots around the globe.

Special guests include Secretary of Secretary Shaun Woodward, South African Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu, the former First and Deputy First Ministers Lord Trimble and Seamus Mallon as well as former Irish President Mary Robinson.

(BMcC)

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