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“When we are dreaming alone it is only a dream. When we are dreaming together it is the beginning of reality.”Helder Camara

Angel Oak Tree, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Photo: pinterest.com

Photo: bbc.co.uk

Today, Tuesday 10 April 2018, marks 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement (also known as The Belfast Agreement), which set in place terms that would bring peace to Northern Ireland.

The historic deal has brought Britain and Ireland closer than ever. However, today, Brexit has put the Agreement under a huge amount of stress and uncertainty.

In the words of former US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, writing in today’s Guardian “We cannot allow Brexit to undermine the peace that people voted, fought and even died for. Reinstating the border would be an enormous setback, returning to the ‘bad old days’ when communities would once again be set apart.”

Clinton adapts a famous Blair quote from the time of the original Belfast agreement to warn: “If short-term interests take precedent over solving the long-term challenges that still exist in Northern Ireland, then, it is clear that the hand of history will be both heavy and unforgiving.”

To neglect the peace process now is a grave mistake

What, then, is the answer?

HOPE, I say

Hope for the region lies in the transformative power of forgiveness and reconciliation, lest we forget

Courage and good-heartedness to take action in the interest of the common good to build a lasting peace