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(1998) The Belfast Agreement: an Agreement Reached at the Multi-Party Talks on Northern Ireland

Writing Peace: Treaties and Agreements

1998-04-10

Ref: Cm. 3883

Also known as the Good Friday Agreement, or in Irish Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta or Comhaontú Bhéal Feirste, and in Ulster-Scots Guid Friday Greeance or Bilfawst Greeance.

The Belfast Agreement comprises the Multi-party Agreement between the UK government, the Irish government, and the political parties of Northern Ireland, as well as the British-Irish Agreement between the UK and Irish governments. It was voted on by the people of Northern Ireland and Ireland in referendum and underpins the current constitutional settlement and institutions of Northern Ireland.

Aimed to end the violence of the Troubles, the Agreement constitutes three strands of political structures:

Strand 1: Northern Ireland Governance; including the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive Strand 2: North-South Institutions; including the North-South Ministerial Council and Implementation Bodies to support cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland Strand 3: East-West Institutions; including the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and the British Irish Council to support cooperation between the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Agreement also set forth a series of rights for the People of Northern Ireland, including on identity, citizenship, as well as restoring self-government to Northern Ireland on the basis of 'power-sharing', and made commitments on paramilitary decommissioning, security, policing reforms, prisoners, and parity of esteem.

Published under Crown Copyright. Free to re-use under the Open Government Licence.

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