The Good Friday Agreement Definition

The multi-party agreement is an agreement between the Uk government, the Irish government and most political parties in Northern Ireland. It defines the support of the signatory parties under the Anglo-Irish agreement and provides the framework for various political institutions. It is divided into three parts: the two main political parties of the agreement were the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), led by David Trimble, and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), led by John Hume. The two heads of state and government together won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998. The other parties to the agreement were Sinn Féin, the Alliance Party and the Progressive Unionist Party. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which later became the largest Unionist party, did not support the agreement. When Sinn Féin and loyalist parties entered, they left the talks because republican and loyalist paramilitary weapons had not been decommissioned. In addition to the number of signatories[note 1], Stefan Wolff presents the following similarities and differences between the issues dealt with in the two agreements:[28] The Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is included in the UK`s withdrawal agreement from the EU, confirmed that the Good Friday Agreement should be protected in all its parts. As part of the proposed agreement, the government has issued a number of financial and other commitments, as has the British government. Among the commitments made by the Irish Government is the work being done through the North-South Council of Ministers to carry out projects that benefit the people of the whole island, including greater connectivity, from the North and South and investments in the north-west region and border communities. As part of the agreement, it was proposed to build on the existing Inter-Parliamentary Commission in English-Irish. Prior to the agreement, the body was composed only of parliamentarians from the British and Irish assemblies. In 2001, as proposed by the agreement, it was extended to include parliamentarians of all members of the Anglo-Irish Council.

The overall result of these problems was to undermine trade unionists` confidence in the agreement exploited by the anti-DUP agreement, which eventually overtook the pro-agreement Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in the 2003 general elections. UUP had already resigned from the executive in 2002 following the Stormontgate scandal, in which three men were indicted for intelligence gathering. These charges were eventually dropped in 2005 because persecution was not « in the public interest. » Immediately afterwards, one of Sinn Féin`s members, Denis Donaldson, was unmasked as a British agent. On 9 January 2020, the British and Irish governments proposed to northern Ireland`s political parties the « New Decade, New Approach » agreement, which provides for a balanced package of measures to make Northern Ireland`s policy and government more transparent, accountable, more stable, more inclusive and more effective.