Declaration issued by British and Irish Governments, Hillsborough

  • Country/entity

    Ireland
    United Kingdom
    Northern Ireland
  • Region

    Europe and Eurasia
    Europe and Eurasia
    Europe and Eurasia
  • Agreement name

    Declaration issued by British and Irish Governments, Hillsborough
  • Date

    1 Apr 1999
  • Agreement status

    Multiparty signed/agreed
  • Interim arrangement

    Yes
  • Agreement/conflict level

    Interstate/intrastate conflict(s) ( Northern Ireland Conflict (1968 - 1998) )
  • Stage

    Implementation/renegotiation
  • Conflict nature

    Government/territory
  • Peace process

    Northern Ireland peace process
  • Parties

    The Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, and the British Prime Minister, Mr Blair
  • Third parties

    -
  • Description

    Declaration issued by the Taoiseach, Mr. Bertie Ahern TD, and the British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, at Hillsborough Castle, 1 April 1999. The declaration set out the Governments’ proposals for achieving full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, including the establishment of its institutions. And reiterates the commitment to all parties of decommissioning.


Groups

  • Children/youth
    Groups→Children/youth→Rhetorical
    Page 1,
    ...All parties firmly believe that the violence we have all lived through must be put behind us. Never again should we or our children have to suffer the consequences of conflict...
  • Disabled persons

    No specific mention.

  • Elderly/age

    No specific mention.

  • Migrant workers

    No specific mention.

  • Racial/ethnic/national group

    No specific mention.

  • Religious groups

    No specific mention.

  • Indigenous people

    No specific mention.

  • Other groups

    No specific mention.

  • Refugees/displaced persons

    No specific mention.

  • Social class

    No specific mention.


Gender

  • Women, girls and gender

    No specific mention.

  • Men and boys

    No specific mention.

  • LGBTI

    No specific mention.

  • Family
    Page 1,
    ...The needs of victims of violence, and their families, including those of the disappeared, are being addressed in both jurisdictions, though we acknowledge that for many their pain and suffering will never end...

State definition

  • Nature of state (general)

    No specific mention.

  • State configuration

    No specific mention.

  • Self determination

    No specific mention.

  • Referendum

    No specific mention.

  • State symbols

    No specific mention.

  • Independence/secession

    No specific mention.

  • Accession/unification

    No specific mention.

  • Border delimitation

    No specific mention.

  • Cross-border provision
    Page 1,
    ...The international agreement signed in Dublin on 8 March provides for the establishment of the North-South ministerial council and implementation bodies, the British-Irish Council and the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference...

    Page 2,
    ...The following institutions will then be established: the NorthSouth Ministerial Council, the North-South Implementation Bodies, the British-Irish Council and the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference...

Governance

  • Political institutions (new or reformed)
    Governance→Political institutions (new or reformed)→General references
    Page 2,
    ...On [date to be set] nominations will be made under the d'Hondt procedure of those to take up office as ministers when powers are devolved...
  • Elections

    No specific mention.

  • Electoral commission

    No specific mention.

  • Political parties reform

    No specific mention.

  • Civil society

    No specific mention.

  • Traditional/religious leaders

    No specific mention.

  • Public administration

    No specific mention.

  • Constitution
    Governance→Constitution→Constitutional reform/making
    Page 1,
    ...Balanced changes to both the Irish Constitution and to British constitutional legislation based on the principle of consent, have been approved and are now ready to take effect...

Power sharing

  • Political power sharing
    Power sharing→Political power sharing→General
    Sub-state level
    Page 2,
    ..Around the time of the act of reconciliation, powers will be devolved and the British-Irish Agreement will enter into force...
    Power sharing→Political power sharing→Executive coalition
    Sub-state level
    Page 2,
    ...On [date to be set] nominations will be made under the d'Hondt procedure of those to take up office as ministers when powers are devolved...
  • Territorial power sharing

    No specific mention.

  • Economic power sharing

    No specific mention.

  • Military power sharing

    No specific mention.


Human rights and equality

  • Human rights/RoL general

    No specific mention.

  • Bill of rights/similar

    No specific mention.

  • Treaty incorporation

    No specific mention.

  • Civil and political rights

    No specific mention.

  • Socio-economic rights

    No specific mention.


Rights related issues

  • Citizenship

    No specific mention.

  • Democracy

    No specific mention.

  • Detention procedures

    No specific mention.

  • Media and communication

    No specific mention.

  • Mobility/access

    No specific mention.

  • Protection measures

    No specific mention.

  • Other

    No specific mention.


Rights institutions

  • NHRI
    Rights institutions→NHRI→Mentions of NHRI
    Page 1,
    ...The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has been established and its members appointed, and the new Equality Commission has been legislated for. Comparable steps by the Irish Government are well under way...
  • Regional or international human rights institutions

    No specific mention.


Justice sector reform

  • Criminal justice and emergency law
    Justice sector reform→Criminal justice and emergency law→Criminal Justice System reform
    Page 1,
    ...Steps have been taken towards normalisation of security arrangements and practices, while the Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland and the review of criminal justice are both well advanced in their vital work...
  • State of emergency provisions

    No specific mention.

  • Judiciary and courts

    No specific mention.

  • Prisons and detention

    No specific mention.

  • Traditional Laws

    No specific mention.


Socio-economic reconstruction

  • Development or socio-economic reconstruction
    Socio-economic reconstruction→Development or socio-economic reconstruction→Socio-economic development
    Page 1,
    ...The commitments in the Agreement in relation to economic, social and cultural issues, including as regards the Irish language, are being carried forward, though much of this work is inevitably long term...
  • National economic plan

    No specific mention.

  • Natural resources

    No specific mention.

  • International funds

    No specific mention.

  • Business

    No specific mention.

  • Taxation

    No specific mention.

  • Banks

    No specific mention.


Land, property and environment

  • Land reform/rights

    No specific mention.

  • Pastoralist/nomadism rights

    No specific mention.

  • Cultural heritage
    Land, property and environment→Cultural heritage→Intangible
    Page 1,
    ...The commitments in the Agreement in relation to economic, social and cultural issues, including as regards the Irish language, are being carried forward, though much of this work is inevitably long term...
  • Environment

    No specific mention.

  • Water or riparian rights or access

    No specific mention.


Security sector

  • Security Guarantees

    No specific mention.

  • Ceasefire

    No specific mention.

  • Police
    Page 1,
    ...Steps have been taken towards normalisation of security arrangements and practices, while the Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland and the review of criminal justice are both well advanced in their vital work...
  • Armed forces

    No specific mention.

  • DDR
    Security sector→DDR→Demilitarisation provisions
    Page 1-2,
    ...Against this background there is agreement among all parties that decommissioning is not a precondition but is an obligation deriving from their commitment in the Agreement, and that it should take place within the time-scale envisaged in the Agreement, and through the efforts of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning.

    Page 2,
    ...Sinn Féin have acknowledged these obligations but are unable to indicate the time-scale on which decommissioning will begin. They do not regard the Agreement as imposing any requirement to make a start before the establishment of the new institutions...

    Page 2,
    ...The UUP do not wish to move to the establishment of the new institutions without some evident progress with decommissioning...

    Page 2,
    ...We believe that decommissioning will only happen against a background where implementation is actively moving forward. Continued progress in establishing the new institutions will in itself create confidence. On the other hand, it is understandable that those who take the next steps in implementation should seek to be assured that these steps are not irrevocable if, in the event, no progress is made with decommissioning...

    Page 2,
    ...At a date to be proposed by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning but not later than [one month after nomination date] a collective act of reconciliation will take place. This will see some arms put beyond use on a voluntary basis, in a manner which will be verified by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, and further moves on normalisation and demilitarisation in recognition of the changed situation on security...

    Page 2,
    ...By [one month after nomination date], the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning will make a report on progress. It is understood by all that the successful implementation of the Agreement will be achieved if these steps are taken within the proposed time-scales; if they are not taken, the nominations mentioned above will fall to be confirmed by the Assembly.
  • Intelligence services

    No specific mention.

  • Parastatal/rebel and opposition group forces

    No specific mention.

  • Withdrawal of foreign forces

    No specific mention.

  • Corruption

    No specific mention.

  • Crime/organised crime

    No specific mention.

  • Drugs

    No specific mention.

  • Terrorism

    No specific mention.


Transitional justice

  • Transitional justice general

    No specific mention.

  • Amnesty/pardon

    No specific mention.

  • Courts

    No specific mention.

  • Mechanism

    No specific mention.

  • Prisoner release
    Page 1,
    ...Numerous prisoners, in both jurisdictions, have benefited from mechanisms providing for their accelerated release...
  • Vetting

    No specific mention.

  • Victims
    Page 1,
    ...The needs of victims of violence, and their families, including those of the disappeared, are being addressed in both jurisdictions, though we acknowledge that for many their pain and suffering will never end...

    Page 2,
    ...In addition to the arrangements in respect of military material, there will at all times be ceremonies of remembrance of all victims of violence, to which representatives of all parties and the two governments, and all churches, will be invited...
  • Missing persons

    No specific mention.

  • Reparations
    Transitional justice→Reparations→Symbolic reparations
    Page 2,
    ...In addition to the arrangements in respect of military material, there will at all times be ceremonies of remembrance of all victims of violence, to which representatives of all parties and the two governments, and all churches, will be invited...
  • Reconciliation
    Page 2,
    ...At a date to be proposed by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning but not later than [one month after nomination date] a collective act of reconciliation will take place. This will see some arms put beyond use on a voluntary basis, in a manner which will be verified by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, and further moves on normalisation and demilitarisation in recognition of the changed situation on security...

Implementation

  • UN signatory

    No specific mention.

  • Other international signatory

    No specific mention.

  • Referendum for agreement

    No specific mention.

  • International mission/force/similar

    No specific mention.

  • Enforcement mechanism

    No specific mention.

  • Related cases

    No specific mention.

  • Source
    Irish Deptartment of Foreign Affairs

Declaration issued by the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, and the British Prime Minister, Mr Blair, at Hillsborough Castle, 1 April 1999

"It is now one year since the Good Friday Agreement was concluded.

Last May it was emphatically endorsed by the people, North and South, and as such it now represents their democratic will.

The Agreement, in its own words, offers a truly historic opportunity for a new beginning.

It gives us a chance, in this generation, to transcend the bitter legacy of the past and to transform relationships within Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between these islands.

All parties firmly believe that the violence we have all lived through must be put behind us.

Never again should we or our children have to suffer the consequences of conflict.

It must be brought to a permanent end.

In partnership together we want to ensure a future free from conflict.

The realisation of that future places a heavy obligation on us all, individually and collectively.

The implementation in full of the Agreement is inevitably a lengthy and complex process, involving continuing effort and commitment on all our parts.

It is encouraging and important that, even though much remains to be done, very substantial progress has already been made in turning the promise of the Agreement into a reality.

We must not forget or underplay how far we have come.

Balanced changes to both the Irish Constitution and to British constitutional legislation based on the principle of consent, have been approved and are now ready to take effect.

The Northern Ireland Assembly was elected last June and has since been preparing for devolution.

The international agreement signed in Dublin on 8 March provides for the establishment of the North-South ministerial council and implementation bodies, the British-Irish Council and the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has been established and its members appointed, and the new Equality Commission has been legislated for.

Comparable steps by the Irish Government are well under way.

The needs of victims of violence, and their families, including those of the disappeared, are being addressed in both jurisdictions, though we acknowledge that for many their pain and suffering will never end.

The commitments in the Agreement in relation to economic, social and cultural issues, including as regards the Irish language, are being carried forward, though much of this work is inevitably long term.

Steps have been taken towards normalisation of security arrangements and practices, while the Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland and the review of criminal justice are both well advanced in their vital work.

Numerous prisoners, in both jurisdictions, have benefited from mechanisms providing for their accelerated release.

Against this background there is agreement among all parties that decommissioning is not a precondition but is an obligation deriving from their commitment in the Agreement, and that it should take place within the time-scale envisaged in the Agreement, and through the efforts of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning.

Sinn Féin have acknowledged these obligations but are unable to indicate the time-scale on which decommissioning will begin.

They do not regard the Agreement as imposing any requirement to make a start before the establishment of the new institutions.

The UUP do not wish to move to the establishment of the new institutions without some evident progress with decommissioning.

It would be a tragedy if this difference of view about timing and the sequence of events prevented the implementation of the Agreement from advancing.

We believe that decommissioning will only happen against a background where implementation is actively moving forward.

Continued progress in establishing the new institutions will in itself create confidence.

On the other hand, it is understandable that those who take the next steps in implementation should seek to be assured that these steps are not irrevocable if, in the event, no progress is made with decommissioning.

We therefore propose the following way forward.

On [date to be set] nominations will be made under the d'Hondt procedure of those to take up office as ministers when powers are devolved.

At a date to be proposed by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning but not later than [one month after nomination date] a collective act of reconciliation will take place.

This will see some arms put beyond use on a voluntary basis, in a manner which will be verified by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, and further moves on normalisation and demilitarisation in recognition of the changed situation on security.

In addition to the arrangements in respect of military material, there will at all times be ceremonies of remembrance of all victims of violence, to which representatives of all parties and the two governments, and all churches, will be invited.

Around the time of the act of reconciliation, powers will be devolved and the British-Irish Agreement will enter into force.

The following institutions will then be established:

the NorthSouth Ministerial Council, the North-South Implementation Bodies, the British-Irish Council and the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

By [one month after nomination date], the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning will make a report on progress.

It is understood by all that the successful implementation of the Agreement will be achieved if these steps are taken within the proposed time-scales;

if they are not taken, the nominations mentioned above will fall to be confirmed by the Assembly."