The 2023 Coventry International Peace Prize was presented in May jointly to Lord Paul Bew and Mark Durkan for their work on the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
Lord Paul Bew’s contributions to the Good Friday Agreement were acknowledged when he was created Baron Bew of Donegore in the County of Antrim in 2007. He sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher and is Professor of Irish Politics at Queen’s University Belfast.
Mark Durkan is a retired Irish nationalist politician from Northern Ireland. He was the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from November 2001 to October 2002, and the Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) from 2001 to 2010.
The presentation of the prize followed a panel event in Coventry Cathedral on the subject of ‘Peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland: it is what it is. How could it be different?’
Panellists included Lord Paul Bew and Mark Durkan, Professor Jon Tonge (University of Liverpool), Mickey Brady (Sinn Fein MP), Brian Kingston (Democratic Unionist Party MLA), Paula Bradshaw (Alliance Party MLA) and Timothy Curry (Advisory Board Member for the US Ireland Partnership for Growth). It was part of the RISING Global Peace Forum.
The photograph, taken in Coventry Cathedral after the presentation of the Peace Prizes shows (left to right):
- Sir Ciarán Devane, executive director of the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations and associate pro-vice-chancellor for international relations at Coventry University;
- Lady Mayoress Krishna;
- Mark Durkan;
- Lord Paul Bew;
- Lord Mayor Councillor Jaswant Singh Birdi;
- Andrew Todd, Director of Regional Engagement at the University of Warwick; and
- John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry.