Text of Document on Decommissioning

  • Country/entity

    Ireland
    United Kingdom
    Northern Ireland
  • Region

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

    Text of Document on Decommissioning
  • Date

    25 Jun 1997
  • Agreement status

    Multiparty signed/agreed
  • Interim arrangement

    Yes
  • Agreement/conflict level

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

    Pre-negotiation/process
  • Conflict nature

    Government/territory
  • Peace process

    Northern Ireland peace process
  • Parties

    Not signed, parties not listed.
  • Third parties

    -
  • Description

    In this short text the parties agree to list commitments and mechanisms of decommissioning. The Annex describes the responsibilities of the Independent Commission and establishes a 'Committee of Plenary'.


Groups

  • Children/youth

    No specific mention.

  • 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

    No specific mention.


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 3, Annex, Independent Commission
    An independent Commission with appropriate immunity as provided for under the legislation on decommissioning enacted by the British and Irish parliaments. It shall be furnished with independent legal and technical advisers and, where appropriate, shall be given access to the technical expertise of the British and Irish security forces.

    Page 3-4, Annex, Responsibilities
    - to consult with the Liaison sub Committee on Decommissioning, both governments, and others whom it deems relevant on the type of scheme or schemes for decommissioning, including the role of the Independent Commission in respect of each scheme;
    - to present to both governments proposals for schemes having due regard to the views expressed by those it has consulted;
    - to undertake, in accordance with any regulations, schemes or arrangements made under the relevant legislation, such tasks that may be required of it to facilitate, observe, monitor and verify decommissioning and to receive and audit arms; and
    - to report periodically to the Liaison sub-Committee on Decommissioning and to both governments.

Governance

  • Political institutions (new or reformed)

    No specific mention.

  • 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

    No specific mention.


Power sharing

  • Political power sharing

    No specific mention.

  • 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
    Page 1, Commitments, 1.
    The participants, recalling their total and absolute commitment to the following principles set out in paragraph 20 of the Report of the International Body: (a) to democratic and exclusively peaceful means of resolving political issues;
  • 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

    No specific mention.

  • Regional or international human rights institutions

    No specific mention.


Justice sector reform

  • Criminal justice and emergency law

    No specific mention.

  • 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

    No specific mention.

  • 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

    No specific mention.

  • Environment

    No specific mention.

  • Water or riparian rights or access

    No specific mention.


Security sector

  • Security Guarantees
    Page 4, Committee of Plenary, (b) Liaison sub-Committee on Confidence Building Measures.
    The sub-Committee will be charged with assisting the implementation of all aspect of the Report of the International Body relating to the further confidence building measures mentioned in that report which participants may raise, and any others which may be referred to it, by agreement, by the plenary. In particular it will be expected:
    - to consider developments in relation to such measures;
    - to consider any reports on such measures as may be submitted by those with responsibility for the issue in question;
    - to draw to the attention of the Chairman of the relevant strand any institutional or systemic implications which may arise from its consideration of particular confidence building measures.
  • Ceasefire

    No specific mention.

  • Police

    No specific mention.

  • Armed forces

    No specific mention.

  • DDR
    Security sector→DDR→Demilitarisation provisions
    Page 1, Commitments, 1.
    Participants, recalling their total and absolute commitment to the following principles set out in paragraph 20 of the Report of the International Body:...
    (b) to the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations;
    (c) to agree that such disarmament must be verifiable to the satisfaction of an independent commission;
    (d) to renounce for themselves, and oppose any efforts by others, to use force, or threaten to use force, to influence the course or outcome of all-party negotiations;
    (e) to agree to abide by the terms of any agreement reached in all-party negotiations and to resort to democratic and exclusively peaceful methods in trying to later any aspects of that outcome with which they may disagree; and,
    (f) to urge that “punishment” killings and beatings stop and to take effective steps to prevent such actions;
    agree that there should be an immediate and total end to violence in Northern Ireland, and that they will work to achieve the earliest possible decommissioning of all paramilitary weapons.

    Page 2, Commitments, 2.
    Although individual participants would prefer to see the implementation of their own proposals, they have collectively come to acknowledge that the Report of the International Body offers the only realistic basis on which to proceed. Accordingly, the participants hereby commit themselves to work constructively and in good faith with the governments in their efforts to secure the implementation of all aspects of the Report of the International Body, including the compromise approach to decommissioning envisaged in paragraphs 34 and 35.

    Page 2, Commitments, 3.
    The participating parties welcome, as an important step towards the implementation of the Report of the International Body, the enactment of appropriate enabling legislation in the two parliaments which will provide the statutory basis for giving effect to the International Body's recommendations on the modalities of decommissioning.

    Page 2, Commitments, 4.
    The participants also commit themselves to work constructively and in good faith with the Independent Commission described below, once it is established, to enable it to carry out its role in the context of an inclusive and dynamic process in which mutual trust and confidence is built as progress is made on the issues of concern to all participants. They invite the Independent Commission to draw their attention to any case where the Commission consider that a participant has failed to engage with the Commission in accordance with this commitment.

    Page 2, Mechanisms, 5.
    The participants agree that:
    - the mechanisms for achieving further progress on decommissioning alongside progress in the three strands should comprise an Independent Commission and a Committee of the Plenary. To enable that Committee to deal, as necessary, with all aspects of the Report, it should have two sub-Committees dealing with decommissioning and with developments in relation to other confidence-building measures respectively. The roles and responsibilities of the Commission and the Committee should be as set out in the attached annex;...

    Page 3, Mechanisms, 6.
    The Report of the International Body envisaged mutual progress on political issues and decommissioning as helping to create a progressive pattern of mounting trust and confidence. With a view to encouraging this, the participants also agree that the Chairman of the Plenary should convene a meeting of the Plenary every two months, or such longer period as may be agreed, to review and consider developments across the negotiations as a whole (including the three strands, decommissioning and other confidence building measures). These meetings will offer all participants the opportunity to review progress across the entire spectrum of the negotiations and to consider whether the necessary confidence and momentum towards agreement is being sustained.

    Page 3, Annex, Independent Commission
    An independent Commission with appropriate immunity as provided for under the legislation on decommissioning enacted by the British and Irish parliaments. It shall be furnished with independent legal and technical advisers and, where appropriate, shall be given access to the technical expertise of the British and Irish security forces.

    Page 3-4, Annex, Responsibilities
    - to consult with the Liaison subCommittee on Decommissioning, both governments, and others whom it deems relevant on the type of scheme or schemes for decommissioning, including the role of the Independent Commission in respect of each scheme;
    - to present to both governments proposals for schemes having due regard to the views expressed by those it has consulted;
    - to undertake, in accordance with any regulations, schemes or arrangements made under the relevant legislation, such tasks that may be required of it to facilitate, observe, monitor and verify decommissioning and to receive and audit arms; and
    - to report periodically to the Liaison sub-Committee on Decommissioning and to both governments.

    Page 4, Committee of Plenary
    A Committee of Plenary shall be established comprised of representatives of all participants in the negotiations. It shall be chaired by the Chairperson of the Plenary and will report regularly to the Plenary. It shall have two sub-Committees reporting to it, a Liaison sub-Committee on Decommissioning and a Liaison sub-Committee on Confidence Building Measures, with the following responsibilities:

    Page 4, Committee of Plenary, (a) Liaison sub-Committee on Decommissioning
    The sub-Committee will be charged with assisting the implementation of all aspects of decommissioning as set out in the Report of the International Body. In particular it will be required:
    - to consider the type of scheme for decommissioning and the role of the Independent Commission in respect of same;
    - to consider proposals for such schemes drawn up by the Independent Commission and to submit any agreed opinion on these proposals for consideration by the Commission;
    - to consider any regulations or schemes to be made by the two governments under the relevant legislation.
  • Intelligence services

    No specific mention.

  • Parastatal/rebel and opposition group forces
    Page 1, Commitments
    The participants, recalling their total and absolute commitment to the following principles set out in paragraph 20 of the Report of the International Body:
    (a) to democratic and exclusively peaceful means of resolving political issues;
    (b) to the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations;
    (c) to agree that such disarmament must be verifiable to the satisfaction of an independent commission;
    (d) to renounce for themselves, and oppose any effort by others, to use force, or threaten to use force, to influence the course or outcome of all-party negotiations;
    (e) to agree to abide by the terms of any agreement reached in all-party negotiations and to resort to democratic and exclusively peaceful methods in trying to alter any aspect of that outcome with which they may disagree; and,
    (f) to urge that "punishment" killings and beatings stop and to take effective steps to prevent such actions; agree that there should be an immediate and total end to violence in Northern Ireland, and that they will work to achieve the earliest possible decommissioning of all paramilitary weapons.
  • 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

    No specific mention.

  • Vetting

    No specific mention.

  • Victims

    No specific mention.

  • Missing persons

    No specific mention.

  • Reparations

    No specific mention.

  • Reconciliation

    No specific mention.


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
    CAIN Web Service
    https://cain.ulster.ac.uk/events/peace/docs/ai25697.htm

Text of Document on Decommissioning

Possible conclusions on Item 2 (a)-(c) of the agenda for the remainder of the opening plenary:

The participants in the multiparty negotiations have, since mid-October 1996, comprehensively debated the International Body's proposals on decommissioning, and a range of other proposals on this subject.

All participants have had full opportunities to set out their position in writing;

to explain that position in oral presentations;

to question other participants about their proposals;

and to discuss the issues in plenary, in meetings with the independent chairmen and in a range of bilateral and multi-lateral meetings with other participants.

In completing their consideration of item 2 of the agenda of the opening plenary, the participants have agreed the following conclusions.

They note that any party invited to join (or rejoin) the negotiations would need to affirm its acceptance of the commitments set out below.

Commitments

1. The participants, recalling their total and absolute commitment to the following principles set out in paragraph 20 of the Report of the International Body:

(a) to democratic and exclusively peaceful means of resolving political issues;

(b) to the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations;

(c) to agree that such disarmament must be verifiable to the satisfaction of an independent commission;

(d) to renounce for themselves, and oppose any effort by others, to use force, or threaten to use force, to influence the course or outcome of all-party negotiations;

(e) to agree to abide by the terms of any agreement reached in all-party negotiations and to resort to democratic and exclusively peaceful methods in trying to alter any aspect of that outcome with which they may disagree;

and,

(f) to urge that "punishment" killings and beatings stop and to take effective steps to prevent such actions;

agree that there should be an immediate and total end to violence in Northern Ireland, and that they will work to achieve the earliest possible decommissioning of all paramilitary weapons.

2. Although individual participants would prefer to see the implementation of their own proposals, they have collectively come to acknowledge that the Report of the International Body offers the only realistic basis on which to proceed.

Accordingly, the participants hereby commit themselves to work constructively and in good faith with the governments in their efforts to secure the implementation of all aspects of the Report of the International Body, including the compromise approach to decommissioning envisaged in paragraphs 34 and 35.

3. The participating parties welcome, as an important step towards the implementation of the Report of the International Body, the enactment of appropriate enabling legislation in the two parliaments which will provide the statutory basis for giving effect to the International Body's recommendations on the modalities of decommissioning.

4. The participants also commit themselves to work constructively and in good faith with the Independent Commission described below, once it is established, to enable it to carry out its role in the context of an inclusive and dynamic process in which mutual trust and confidence is built as progress is made on the issues of concern to all participants.

They invite the Independent Commission to draw their attention to any case where the Commission consider that a participant has failed to engage with the Commission in accordance with this commitment.

Mechanisms

5. The participants agree that:

the mechanisms for achieving further progress on decommissioning alongside progress in the three strands should comprise an Independent Commission and a Committee of the Plenary.

To enable that Committee to deal, as necessary, with all aspects of the Report, it should have two sub-Committees dealing with decommissioning and with developments in relation to other confidence-building measures respectively.

The respective roles and responsibilities of the Commission and the Committee should be as set out in the attached annex;

these mechanisms should be formally established on the launch of the three-stranded negotiations and should begin work simultaneously with the commencement of substantive discussions in the three strands;

the business of the opening plenary, including (agenda item 4) the launch of the three-stranded negotiations, should be completed by [no date inserted] July;

the three strands of substantive political negotiations should commence substantive discussions on 15 September;

the Chairmen, in consultation with the Business Committee, should make all necessary preparations for the effective conduct of those substantive negotiations;

in order to advance work and make the maximum use of the opportunities ahead, the participants themselves undertake to make all necessary preparations for substantive negotiations, including through preliminary discussions with other participants where mutually helpful.

6. The Report of the International Body envisaged mutual progress on political issues and decommissioning as helping to create a progressive pattern of mounting trust and confidence.

With a view to encouraging this, the participants also agree that the Chairman of the Plenary should convene a meeting of the Plenary every two months, or such longer period as may be agreed, to review and consider developments across the negotiations as a whole (including the three strands, decommissioning and other confidence building measures).

These meetings will offer all participants the opportunity to review progress across the entire spectrum of the negotiations and to consider whether the necessary confidence and momentum towards agreement is being sustained.

7. The participants also hereby invite the Independent Chairmen as a group to keep overall progress in the multi-party negotiations as a whole under review and to offer their judgment from time to time on the need for progress on particular issues if confidence and momentum towards agreement is to be sustained.

Annex:

Independent Commission

An Independent Commission shall operate in both jurisdictions with appropriate immunity as provided for under the legislation on decommissioning enacted by the British and Irish parliaments.

It shall be furnished with independent legal and technical advisers and, where appropriate, shall be given access to the technical expertise of the British and Irish security forces.

Responsibilities

to consult with the Liaison subCommittee on Decommissioning, both governments, and others whom it deems relevant on the type of scheme or schemes for decommissioning, including the role of the Independent Commission in respect of each scheme;

to present to both governments proposals for schemes having due regard to the views expressed by those it has consulted;

to undertake, in accordance with any regulations, schemes or arrangements made under the relevant legislation, such tasks that may be required of it to facilitate, observe, monitor and verify decommissioning and to receive and audit arms;

and

to report periodically to the Liaison sub-Committee on Decommissioning and to both governments.

Committee of Plenary

A Committee of Plenary shall be established comprised of representatives of all participants in the negotiations.

It shall be chaired by the Chairperson of the Plenary and will report regularly to the Plenary.

It shall have two sub-Committees reporting to it, a Liaison sub-Committee on Decommissioning and a Liaison sub-Committee on Confidence Building Measures, with the following responsibilities:

(a) Liaison sub-Committee on Decommissioning

The sub-Committee will be charged with assisting the implementation of all aspects of decommissioning as set out in the Report of the International Body.

In particular it will be required:

to consider the type of scheme for decommissioning and the role of the Independent Commission in respect of same;

to consider proposals for such schemes drawn up by the Independent Commission and to submit any agreed opinion on these proposals for consideration by the Commission;

to consider any regulations or schemes to be made by the two governments under the relevant legislation.

(b) Liaison sub-Committee on Confidence Building Measures.

The sub-Committee will be charged with assisting the implementation of all aspect of the Report of the International Body relating to the further confidence building measures mentioned in that report which participants may raise, and any others which may be referred to it, by agreement, by the plenary.

In particular it will be expected:

to consider developments in relation to such measures;

to consider any reports on such measures as may be submitted by those with responsibility for the issue in question;

to draw to the attention of the Chairman of the relevant strand any institutional or systemic implications which may arise from its consideration of particular confidence building measures.