This past year has brought great challenges for many as together we have faced the impact of a global pandemic. Despite this, CDPB has continued to deliver a programme of activities that bring people together, even if it has often been by virtual means. Our commitment to peace building and the strengthening of democracy remains undiminished.
This annual report provides an insight into our ongoing work, often alongside excellent partners such as Bryan Patten and the Washington Ireland Program, with a focus on empowering the next generation as they take on the baton of peace and step forward to provide the leadership of the future. One of our successful joint initiatives in the past year has been our engagement with Yale University in delivering the ‘Democracy, Identity and Civil Society’ Program and we hope to undertake further such projects in the year ahead.
Our sincere appreciation also goes to our funders, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Irish American Partnership. They share our desire to foster and promote reconciliation and join in our commitment to investing in our young people. Without the support of people like Aidan Browne and Mary Sugrue we would not have been in a position to deliver so much in these difficult times.
I also wish to place on record our great admiration for the solid leadership provided by our CEO Eva Grosman as she has directed the work of our project teams and helped mentor our fantastic interns and also our appreciation to the members of our Corporate and Advisory Boards. So many people give freely of their time to advise and support the work of CDPB and without them, our achievements would not have been possible.
Looking ahead, our Board has exciting plans for the development of CDPB. We are currently in the process of finalising our charitable status and have plans to develop a new ‘Fellowship’ programme and an online platform as well as establishing new corporate partnerships that will help make us even more effective in delivering our various projects.
As our peoples begin to emerge from the pandemic and look forward to better times, maybe we have a slightly different perspective on life and are more appreciative of things we once took for granted. Perhaps this offers an even greater opportunity to promote and strengthen the values associated with democracy and peace building and to be agents for change in a way that is truly transformative of how we live and work together.
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson