Background to Charter for Northern Ireland
CHARTER for Northern Ireland was established in 2000 as an independent think tank devoted to studying the causes of conflict at a community level in Northern Ireland.
Over the years the group has sought the advice of leading strategic thinkers, academicians, former members of the Civil Services, Political leaders, Foreign Services, Armed Forces, Police Forces, Paramilitary Forces, Foreign Governments and media persons who have been associated or have an in-depth knowledge and experience of the ‘Trouble’ in Northern Ireland.
The peace process in Northern Ireland identified the fact that the social and economic conditions people lived in had a direct affect/impact on Political instability, civil unrest, why people got involved in political violence and ultimately why they went to prison.
A strategy with a more appropriate focus on social, economic and political development was adopted by CHARTER for NI and is centered in the wider community but encompasses marginalised and traditional subordinate groups.
The organisation has chalked out a comprehensive framework, that will include specific pieces of work and activities, actions plans and implementation of those action plans for conflict studies that will allow for a process leading to reconciliation and one which will cater for the changing demands of national, regional and global peace and reconciliation.
The primary objective of the strategy is to sustain peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and with its neighbours and will have an overall Human Rights based approach.
East Belfast, North Down & the ‘Ard’s’
The organisation has its main offices in East Belfast but covers a geographical area of North Down and the Ard’s, a population of more than 250,000. The areas have many pockets of multiple deprivation with four electoral wards in East Belfast languishing in the top ten percent of the most deprived in Northern Ireland, designated ‘hard to reach’ communities, many of the rest of the working class estates are in the eleven to twenty percent which are designated ‘areas at risk.’
The Present Situation
Charter and its founders have depended on European peace funds to survive from 1995 and have been very successful in the field of conflict transformation and play a pivotal role in the current activities to bring about the end of political unrest, violence and Para militarism. The organisation is developing a strategy to achieve social and economic sustainability that will assist to a large degree in the continued success of Charter and its activities.
We continue to work for equality, protection of Human Rights, political stability, provide positive leadership and a peaceful & prosperous society.