Content Of The Good Friday Agreement


The agreement reaffirmed its commitment to “mutual respect, civil rights and religious freedoms for all in the community.” The multi-party agreement recognised “the importance of respect, understanding and tolerance with regard to linguistic diversity”, in particular with regard to the Irish language, the Ulster Scots and the languages of other ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland, “all of which are part of the cultural richness of the island of Ireland”. The agreement set out a complex set of provisions relating to a number of areas, including: sovereignty, civil and cultural rights, the dismantling of weapons, demilitarization, justice and police work were at the centre of the agreement. “It is for the Irish people to exercise their right to self-determination on the basis of the free and simultaneous approval of the North and the South to create a united Ireland, while accepting that this right be attained and exercised with and subject to the agreement and approval of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland.” Brooke also tried to get Northern Ireland`s constitutional parties to talk to each other. He proposed that the discussions between the parties should cover three aspects: the first to deal with relations within Northern Ireland; the second deals with relations between the two parts of Ireland; and the third deals with the links between the British and Irish governments. Discussions began in April 1991, but soon became part of procedural differences. But the bold format should be at the center of the Good Friday agreement. The agreement reached was that Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom and would remain so until a majority of the population of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland wanted something else. Should this happen, the UK and Irish governments will be required to “have a binding commitment” to implement this decision. Political parties in Northern Ireland, which endorsed the agreement, were also invited to consider the creation of an independent advisory forum, with members of civil society with expertise in social, cultural, economic and other matters, and appointed by both administrations. . . .