Caribbean youths invited to US president first visit to Northern Ireland

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Ahead of the 39th G8 Summit held at Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland, president of the United States, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama visited Belfast’s Waterfront Hall to address a select group of youths and public officials.

Dr Christopher Stange of the Consulate for St Vincent and the Grenadines to Northern Ireland and Chair (Ag.) of the registered charity African Caribbean Support Organisation Northern Ireland (ACSONI) was honoured to be invited with staff and youth from the Caribbean Diaspora, including Vincentians, to the historic event.

Obama urged young people in Northern Ireland to finish making “permanent peace” and set an example to other parts of the world stricken by religious conflict, violence and war.

Teenager Hannah Nelson of Methodist College entered an essay contest run by the US Consulate General in Belfast, which she won and opened the event with her winning speech and introduced Mrs Obama.

President Obama highlighted the excellent work that has been done in Northern Ireland by all stakeholders in building a peaceful all inclusive society, but stressed: “There is still much work that needs to be done… I promise you the United States of America will support you every step of the way.”

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