Peacebuilding and Reconciliation: An Introduction

1998

The Good Friday Agreement, Ireland

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The Good Friday Agreement was signed in Belfast on 10 April, 1998, by the governments of Britain and Ireland, and was endorsed by the majority of political parties in Northern Ireland. Voters of Northern Ireland ratified the agreement in a referendum on 28 May, and it came into effect on 2 December, 1999. The Good Friday Agreement established the Northern Ireland Assembly with devolved legislative powers and marked a decrease of violence in ?the Troubles.? It primarily affirmed the right of self-determination for the people of Northern Ireland and stated that any change in the country's constitutional status has to be a result of peaceful means i.e. a majority vote.