The Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, was a historic peace accord signed on April 10, 1998, between the British and Irish governments and various political parties in Northern Ireland, including Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionist Party. The agreement aimed to end decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, known as The Troubles, which claimed over 3,500 lives.
The agreement recognized the right of the people of Northern Ireland to self-determination and provided for the establishment of a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland. It also established the North-South Ministerial Council to promote cooperation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and the British-Irish Council to promote cooperation between the British and Irish governments.
The Good Friday Agreement was a significant step towards peace in Northern Ireland, but it was not without its challenges. There were still incidents of violence in the years that followed, and the power-sharing government was suspended multiple times due to political disagreements.
In recent years, there have been concerns about the future of the Good Friday Agreement due to Brexit and the potential implications for the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. However, both the British and Irish governments have committed to upholding the agreement and avoiding a hard border.
The Good Friday Agreement remains an important milestone in the history of Northern Ireland, and its legacy continues to shape the region today.