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Finding Peace in Conflict: Northern Ireland and Beyond

John Alderdice, Lord.jpg

From the Good Friday Agreement that ended the Troubles and brought peace to Northern Ireland, to understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lord Alderdice has been involved in numerous peace negotiations. His major epiphany came through his work as a practicing psychiatrist: conflict is not about the fight, but about the relationships behind it. And those can extend far beyond the two sides we see in any given conflict. Moreover, finding peace requires a special kind of leader – one which may be in short supply lately.

Lord Alderdice shares his thoughts on the leadership qualities that bring peace, promote peace, and maintain peace. He also discusses the relationships driving successful conflict resolution, starting with the relationship we have with ourselves, and extending through the systems and cultures in which we operate, our past relationships, and future generations who will experience the consequences of our actions.

John, Lord Alderdice, FRCPsych, is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords and was the Chairman of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords during the Liberal/Conservative Coalition Government. He also speaks for the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland in the House of Lords, and as Leader of Alliance he played a significant role in the negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. When the Northern Ireland Assembly was elected, he became its first Speaker. In 2004 he retired as Speaker on being appointed by the British and Irish Governments to be one of the four members of the international Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), put in place to close down the operations of the paramilitary organizations and monitor security normalization.