THE G8 summit has been an enormous success. It is to the credit of the various governments, including the Executive, the PSNI and all parties involved, that the conference passed off so successfully.
I was at the Waterfront Hall to hear President Obama's address and, while his remarks were very welcome, to my mind the really inspiring remarks were given by Methodist College student Hannah Nelson. As a father of two young children, it was very refreshing to hear such a positive and forward-looking vision for Northern Ireland being expressed by someone so young.
The eyes of the world were focused upon Northern Ireland for all of the right reasons and the G8, following on from the success of the MTV European Music Awards, the opening of Titanic Belfast and other major attractions, has sent a very powerful message around the world that Northern Ireland is a place worth coming to.
Over the coming days, Belfast City Council will be engaged in a Global India initiative and the next big event that our country will host is the World Police and Fire Games. I am sure the people of Northern Ireland will afford the 5,000 athletes such a warm response they will create more than 5,000 ambassadors, who will return home to sell the message of just how great Northern Ireland is.
We all have a stake in building on recent successes and I think that the people of Northern Ireland will rise to that challenge.
ALDERMAN CHRISTOPHER STALFORD
Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast