The Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, is a peace deal signed on April 10, 1998 to bring an end to the decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland. One of the key issues addressed in the Agreement was the question of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has been a contentious issue for many years. The border was created in 1921 when Ireland was partitioned and has been a source of political and social tension since. The Good Friday Agreement recognized the importance of removing the physical barriers and the need to maintain the peace in the region.
The Agreement states that “the two Governments [the UK and Ireland] recognize the importance of the North-South dimension of the island of Ireland and, among other things, agree that the creation of institutions to promote cooperation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland can be achieved by mutual consent.”
The Agreement also established the Northern Ireland Assembly, in which representatives from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland can participate. The Assembly has powers to make decisions on specific issues, including agriculture, education, and health.
The Agreement made it clear that the border would remain open and that both countries would work together to ensure that there would be no physical barriers in the region. This arrangement has been in place since the Agreement was signed and has enabled people to move freely between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The Good Friday Agreement also recognizes the sensitivity of the border issue and acknowledges that there are those who seek to exploit it for political purposes. The Agreement states that “the Governments will ensure that their respective measures and policies respect the human rights of all individuals and do not undermine the prospects for a peaceful and stable society in Northern Ireland.”
In conclusion, the Good Friday Agreement text on the border is a critical aspect of the peace deal that ended the conflict in Northern Ireland. It established a framework for cooperation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, removed physical barriers to movement and trade, and recognized the sensitivity of the issue. The Good Friday Agreement is an essential document in the history of Northern Ireland and continues to shape the future of the region.