A group of diplomats from across the world were in Belfast last Thursday (12 October) to attend the first ever Diplomatic Dinner to be held in the city. The dinner was hosted by the Consular Corps/Association of Northern Ireland (CA-NI) and Co-operation Ireland was nominated by them as being the beneficiary charity. Invest NI, the European Commission, Donnelly Group and the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce supported the event.
More than 22 countries are being represented at the dinner, which took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shaw’s Bridge. It was an opportunity to welcome Ambassadors, High Commissioners and senior Diplomats to Northern Ireland and celebrate the increasing multiculturalism and diversity of Northern Ireland society. Ambassadors from Russia, Hungary, Guatemala, Bulgaria, Netherland and Czech Republic will be in attendance in addition to Consul Generals from the USA, China, Italy and Poland.
President of CA-NI the Duchess of Abercorn, who attended along with her husband the Duke of Abercorn, was Guest of Honour and Prof. Francis Campbell, former British Ambassador to the Holy See and Private Secretary to the former Prime Minister Tony Blair was guest speaker.
Speaking at the dinner, the Duchess of Abercorn said: “As President of CA-NI, I am delighted to welcome everyone to the first Diplomatic Dinner to be held in Northern Ireland. The occasion will be a wonderful celebration of the many nations represented here. I look forward to a very enjoyable evening.”
Peter Sheridan Chief Executive said: “I am delighted Co-operation Ireland has been chosen as the charity for the inaugural Diplomatic Dinner. As an organisation, whose aim is to build better relations between the people living on this island, the aim of this dinner fits our remit perfectly.
“Over the past decade we have seen our society move from being primarily Irish or British to a society that is culturally and ethnically diverse and this is something we reflect in our programme design. We believe that it is vitally important that people feel welcomed and are able to integrate into all parts of Irish society, North or South.”
View some of the photographs taken at the Diplomatic Dinner.