Londonderry has officially been declared a United Nations (UN) International City of Peace.
The accolade was awarded in recognition of the city and district’s transition to peace over the years following the Northern Ireland’s Troubles.
There are nearly 400 UN International Cities of Peace across the world.
The initiative promotes global peace and supports the health and well-being of all communities, according to founder J. Frederick Arment.
Derry and Strabane became the first ever local authority on the island of Ireland to sign up to the network.
“When you become an international city of peace it is a freeze-frame of where you are in time,” Mr Arment said.
“The past has occurred and Derry-Londonderry has emerged and now is unified to heal the cultural trauma, but the youth do not have that trauma instilled and they are the future.”
The ceremony saw school children from across the north west talk about why peace is so important to them and their hopes and aspirations for the future.
Video messages from international representatives of other Cities of Peace were also played during the event.
A message from the daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rev Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth, was played and she said her parents always yearned for peace to prosper in Derry.
“It’s so joyful that Derry-Londonderry has been named a city of peace and we know that it will be a beacon of hope both now and in the future,” she said.
The city and district’s inclusion in the prestigious initiative was led by the former First Derry Presbyterian Minister, Rev David Latimer.
Rev Latimer has worked on numerous peace and reconciliation projects, many involving local young people.
“If people are enjoying security, prosperity and quality of life then they will not think about lifting up guns and bombs.”