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Full potential of Good Friday/Belfast and St Andrew's Agreements yet to be reached: BIPA Committee

Added 31-Mar-2014

A Committee of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) has said that, while the Good Friday/Belfast and St Andrew’s Agreements have transformed life on the island of Ireland, their full potential has yet to be reached.

BIPA’s Committee A (Sovereign Matters) notes the commitments that remain unfulfilled and calls on all parties to maintain momentum to ensure that all outstanding provisions are implemented in their totality.

The recommendations form part of the Committee’s Report on the Implementation of the Good Friday/Belfast and St Andrew’s Agreements, which was adopted by the wider Assembly in the RHK in Dublin and published this morning.

The Committee is recommending that:

    · a formal public reporting mechanism on the implementation of the Agreements be put in place

    · every effort be made to bring the Civic Forum back into operation to harness the strength of civic society in Northern Ireland

    · Northern Ireland parties be encouraged to work together towards a scheme that fosters linguistic diversity, including the Irish language and Ulster Scots.

    · The North/South Ministerial Council explore new areas of cooperation that have mutual economic and social benefit.

    · Political parties in Northern Ireland, in cooperation with the British and Irish governments and other partners, forge an approach to human rights that reflects the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland and the principles of mutual respect for the identity and ethos of both communities and parity of esteem.

The Committee also recognises the potential for greater co-operation between BIPA and the British Irish Council.

Committee Chair Frank Feighan TD said:“Senator George Mitchell previously said that full implementation of an agreement is often more difficult and more important that reaching an agreement in the first instance. On behalf of the Committee, I wish to thank the wide range of senior politicians, officials and community representatives across Northern Ireland, and in London and Dublin, who assisted us in the preparation of this report.

“The meetings afforded us a detailed understanding of the key challenges that remain to secure the full implementation of the Agreements build on the peace and progress achieved. This report seeks to take stock of the gains of the past 16 years since the signing of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement and outlines a series of practical steps that can be taken to ensure the provisions of the Agreements come to full fruition for the benefit of the people of our islands.”

Download Report

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.


Access www.britishirish.org for and more information.




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