META PROPERTY="og:type" CONTENT="website" />
|Volume 53 Number 10, April 22, 2023
A House of Commons briefing paper on the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement
The Belfast Agreement - widely known as the Good Friday Agreement - was signed 25 years ago on 10 April 1998 following three decades of conflict known as "The Troubles". The Agreement created a new power-sharing arrangement, which included a Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive. It was based on a series of fundamental principles, including:
What is in the Agreement?
The Agreement comprises a Multi-Party Agreement between the UK and Irish governments and political parties in Northern Ireland, and the British-Irish Agreement between the UK and Irish governments, an international treaty. Both were approved by voters in concurrent referendums held in Northern Ireland and Ireland on 22 May 1998 and came into force on 2 December 1999.
The Agreement resulted in the creation of the three strands of political structures, respectively covering Northern Ireland's governance, North-South relations and East-West relations. The UK government is committed to upholding each of these strands, which all carry equal importance:
The Agreement also set out a series of important rights for the people of Northern Ireland, including on identity and citizenship, and made commitments on decommissioning, security, policing and prisoners.