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BIPA Committee meets Tánaiste on securing gains of Good Friday and St Andrew's Agreements

Added 31-Jan-2014

A Committee from the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) was in Dublin this week for a series of high-level meetings reflecting on the many successes of the Good Friday and St Andrew's Agreements and to consider how the gains from the resulting peace and stability can be secured.

The Committee, which was established to consider sovereign matters of relevance to both Britain and Ireland, met with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore TD for a wide-ranging discussion on the achievements of the last 15 years. The Committee and the Tánaiste also exchanged views on current political issues in Northern Ireland.

The Committee also met with the cross party Oireachtas Joint Commitee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement to hear their perspectives on the key challenges that remain to secure the peace and progress achieved.

The meetings will inform an upcoming Committee Report, scheduled to be presented at the next BIPA plenary session in Dublin on 31 March and 1 April.

Reflecting on both meetings, Committee Chair Frank Feighan TD said: “On behalf of the Committee, I wish to thank both the Tánaiste and Members of the Oireachtas Committee for productive meetings, which reflected on advances in North/South and East/West cooperation over the past 15 years. The signing of the Good Friday Agreement has had a transformative impact on the development of close and neighbourly relations between our peoples and both meetings were an opportunity to take stock of the progress made. Significant challenges remain, and we heard the Tánaiste reiterate the support of the Irish Government for the Northern Ireland parties as they seek to complete their work on the proposals that have emerged during the recent Haass talks.

“The BIPA Committee also gained valuable insights into the work of the Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement in terms of its formal meetings in Leinster House and through its grass roots community engagement in Northern Ireland and the border region. The outcomes of the discussions will inform the Committee’s Report on the Good Friday and St Andrew's Agreements, which will be presented formally to the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly at the end of March.”

About the Assembly:

The Assembly's mission is to promote co-operation between political representatives in Britain and Ireland for the benefit of the people they represent. BIPA’s membership includes representatives from the UK Parliament, the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the High Court of Tynwald (Isle of Man) and the States of Guernsey and Jersey.


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