Why Is The Good Friday Agreement Important

The agreement reached was that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and will remain so until a majority of the population of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland so wishes. If this happens, the UK and Irish governments will have a “binding commitment” to implement this decision. The result of these referendums was a large majority in both parts of Ireland in favour of the agreement. In the republic, 56% of voters, 94% of the vote voted for the constitutional amendment. In Northern Ireland, turnout was 81%, with 71% in favour of the agreement. On 11 January 2020, based on the New Decade agreement and the New Approach, the Executive and power-sharing assembly were re-established, in which the five main political parties in Northern Ireland participated. The idea of the agreement was to get the two sides to work together in a group called the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Assembly would take certain decisions previously taken by the British Government in London. Although Prime Minister Johnson and Irish leaders have promised to protect the Good Friday deal, some Brexiteers have taken the opportunity to criticise the agreement`s power-sharing institutions, arguing that the pact is outdated. Some DUP members, who opposed the agreement in 1998, also questioned the agreements it reached. The multi-party agreement required the parties to “use any influence they might have” to bring about the dismantling of all paramilitary weapons within two years of the agreement`s approval by referendum. The standardisation process committed the BRITISH government to reducing the number and role of its armed forces in Northern Ireland “to a level compatible with a normal peaceful society”. These included the removal of security arrangements and the lifting of special emergency powers in Northern Ireland.

The Irish government has committed to a “comprehensive review” of its crimes against state law. These issues – parades, flags and legacy of the past – were negotiated in 2013, chaired by Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Meghan L. O`Sullivan, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School and now a member of the CFR board of trustees. The talks, which involved the five main political parties, failed to reach an agreement, although many of the proposals – including the creation of a historic investigative unit to investigate unresolved deaths during the conflict and a commission to help victims obtain information about the deaths of their loved ones – were a large part of the Stormont House deal reached in 2014. .

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