Who Negotiated The Good Friday Agreement









There is no official breakdown of how nationalist and unionist communities voted, but CAIN, the Internet`s archives of conflicts, estimated that the overwhelming majority (up to 97%) Members of Northern Ireland`s predominantly nationalist community voted “yes.” Their estimate of the predominantly Protestant Unionist community for the agreement was between 51 and 53 per cent. The agreement required the transfer of authority over certain policy areas of the British Parliament to a newly created assembly in Belfast and paved the way for paramilitary groups to give up their weapons and engage in the political process. It has contributed to a sharp decrease in violence and the annual death toll, which peaked at 480 in 1972, has fallen to one figure in recent years. The agreement contains a complex set of provisions in a number of areas, including: pre-agreement negotiations lasted 700 days, and for more than a year only the procedures and agenda were described. One of the keys to Mitchell`s success was the use of the “Mitchell Principles” or preconditions for negotiations, which involved a commitment to non-violence, open communication and democracy. Mitchell also adopted a “sufficient consensus” rule that allowed parties to vote against part of a proposal, while voting for the proposal as a whole. The agreement sets out a framework for the creation and number of institutions in three “parts.” The pro-agreement campaign framed the issue as progress from the impasse, as a struggle between intolerant bigots without solutions, on the one hand, and moderates with, on the other hand, a constructive path. The agreement was promoted to the nationalist community as an offering of civil rights, inclusive government, recognition of its Irish state and a peaceful path to Irish reunification. For the Unionist community, it has been presented as leniency of problems, the guaranteed end of the paramilitaries and their weapons and the guarantee of the Union for the foreseeable future. There was a massive government-funded campaign for the “yes” vote, with large posters posted across Northern Ireland. Such a poster contained five handwritten pledges of Prime Minister Tony Blair to obtain the “yes” vote of the Unionists, when no wording of these pledges was actually included in the agreement submitted to voters.

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