the “peacemaker”

May 27, 2011  |   column: WHAT'S NEW

our involvement with women for women international has made all of us at kate spade new york more aware of a number of remarkable people around the world who have dedicated their lives to helping bring peace to war-torn countries. we recently learned about one such man and about the passionate filmmaker producing a documentary about his life.

james demo’s movie, “the peacemaker,” introduces the world to padraig o’malley whose program, the forum for cities in transition, annually brings together leaders from ten cities, entrenched in sectarian conflict, to share ideas and strategies for reconciliation. the premise behind o’malley’s work is that “cultures in conflict are in the best position to help other cultures in conflict”—something he proved in 2007 when he recruited former adversaries from both northern ireland and south africa to convince key members of warring iraqi factions to travel to helsinki for peace talks. the iraqis were persuaded, and during that trip signed what is now known as the helsinki agreement.

demo says he’s making the film to understand how and why o’malley, a private citizen not backed by a government or foundation, has taken on this cause and how he’s been able to “accomplish so much with so little.” we’re looking forward to hearing more about o’malley’s inspiring mission when demo’s movie is released.

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