Dokumentation af Irlands historie
Af Paul-Frederik Bach
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Georges Mitchell's fredsplan

Erklæringer i anledning af Georges Mitchell's fredsplan i november 1999

The Ulster Unionist Party:

The Ulster Unionist Party remains totally committed to the full implementation of the Belfast Agreement in all its aspects.

It is our belief that the establishment of the new political institutions and the disarmament of all paramilitary organisations will herald a new beginning for all sections of our people - a new, peaceful, and democratic society, free from the use or threat of force.

The UUP recognises and accepts that it is legitimate for nationalists to pursue their political objective of a united Ireland by consent through exclusively peaceful and democratic methods.

The UUP is committed to the principles of inclusivity, equality, and mutual respect on which the institutions are to be based. It is our intention that these principles will extend in practice to all areas of public life, and be endorsed by society as a whole.

The UUP sees a new opportunity for all our traditions in Northern Ireland to enter a new era of respect and tolerance of cultural differences and expression.

For too long, much of the unrest in our community has been caused by a failure to accept the differing expressions of cultural identity.

Disagreements over language issues, parades and other events must be resolved if the stability and tolerance we all want to see are to be realised.

These issues, in future, will be the means to promote mutual respect and tolerance rather than division and alienation. The UUP is committed to securing equality and mutual respect for all elements of our diverse culture.

The Agreement will help bring this about by providing a framework for a new political dispensation which recognises the full and equal legitimacy of our different identities and aspirations.

We now have a chance to create a genuine partnership between unionists and nationalists in a novel form of government. It offers us the opportunity to put past failures behind us.

This new government has the task of rebuilding our damaged economy and the social fabric of our community. It must also strive to eliminate the causes of disadvantage and promote greater prosperity for all.

Only when violence has no part to play and where only democratic politics will be used to further community goals will we have a fully matured as a society. We look forward with confidence to meeting this challenge.

Both of our traditions have suffered as a result of our conflict and division. This is a matter of deep regret and makes it all the more important that we now put the past behind us. The establishment of inclusive political institutions and the commencement of the process of decommissioning are the first steps in this process.

If, in our view, a genuine and meaningful response is forthcoming to Monday's statement from the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, the way will then be clear for the establishment of the political institutions envisaged in the Belfast Agreement.

Unionist, loyalist, nationalist, and republican must take these steps together to secure a new era of co-operation, reconciliation and mutual respect.

Sinn Féin:

Sinn Fein is totally committed to the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement in all its aspects. We believe that the wholehearted implementation of the Agreement has the capacity to transform the existing situation through constructive and dynamic political development.

It is an unprecedented opportunity to start afresh. An opportunity to put behind us the failures, the tragedy and the suffering of the past.

There is no doubt that we are entering into the final stages of the resolution of the conflict.

The IRA cessation which has now been in place for a total of almost four years represents an important and positive contribution by the IRA to the resolution of the conflict. IRA guns are silent and the Sinn Fein leadership is confident that the IRA remains committed to the objective of a permanent peace.

By providing an effective political alternative we can remove the potential for conflict. That conflict must be for all of us now a thing of the past, over, done with and gone.

There has been a particular focus on arms. This issue is addressed directly in the Good Friday Agreement. Sinn Fein accepts that decommissioning is an essential part of the peace process. We believe that the issue of arms will be finally and satisfactorily settled under the aegis of the de Chastelain Commission as set out in the Agreement. All parties to the Agreement have an obligation to help bring decommissioning about. Sinn Fein is committed to discharging our responsibilities in this regard.

Decommissioning can only come about on a voluntary basis. The Good Friday Agreement makes clear that the context required for its resolution is the implementation of the overall settlement, including the operation of its institutions and using the mechanism of the de Chastelain Commission. This is a collective responsibility.

Sinn Fein has total and absolute commitment to pursue our objectives by exclusively peaceful and democratic means in accordance with the Good Friday Agreement. For this reason we are totally opposed to any use of force or threat of force by others for any political purpose.

We are totally opposed to punishment attacks.

In the Executive the two Sinn Fein Ministers will make and honour the pledge of office which includes a commitment to non-violence and exclusively peaceful and democratic means. Under the terms of the Agreement any member of the Executive can be removed from office for failure to meet his or her responsibilities, including those set out in the Pledge of Office.

All sections of our people have suffered profoundly in this conflict. That suffering is a matter of deep regret but makes the difficult process of removing conflict all the more imperative. Sinn Fein wishes to work with, not against, the unionists and recognises this as yet another imperative. For Sinn Fein co-operation and accommodation is the objective of this process.

We reiterate our total commitment to doing everything in our power to maintain the peace process and to removing the gun forever from the politics of our country.

The Progressive Unionist Party:

The Review of the Good Friday Agreement was based on three fundamental principles agreed on 25th June 1999. The three principles are as follows:

  • An inclusive executive exercising devolved powers;
  • Decommissioning of all paramilitary arms by May 2000;
  • Decommissioning to be carried out in a manner determined by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning.

On July 1st 1999, the Progressive Unionist Party stated the following responses:

  • The Progressive Unionist Party recognise the fundamental necessity for the creation of a wholly inclusive executive. The proper functioning of the structures envisaged in the GFA, we believe, offer the genuine opportunity to address the ills faced by our divided society.
  • We believe the removal of illegal war materials from our society is an honourable objective. The Progressive Unionist party do not see decommissioning as a pre-condition to access to the structures envisaged in the GFA, whilst we recognise that it is an issue that must be dealt with. We commit ourselves to dealing with the issue as set out in the terms of the Agreement. We re-affirm our confidence in the IICD and wholly recognise that they are best suited to deal with this issue.
  • We accept that all matters regarding decommissioning including modalities, schemes, verification etc should be the sole remit of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning and as such we will work in conjunction with them to achieve this most honourable objective.

The Progressive Unionist Party welcome the interim report by Senator George Mitchell, outlining progress made in the Review of the Good Friday Agreement. We find heartening, Mr Mitchell's assertion that the parties " understand each others concerns and requirements far better than before, and are committed to resolving the current impasse".

It has always been our Party's view that devolution should occur and the institutions envisaged within the GFA should be implemented regardless of the decommissioning issue.

We believe that the process of decommissioning should be the sole remit of the Independent Commission on Decommissioning, and as such should be completely removed from the political equation. The removal of illegal war materials is an integral part of the conflict transformation process, currently taking place in Northern Ireland.

We welcome the proposals outlined by the International Commission and believe that "... appointing authorised representatives" would be a positive step in this direction.

The Progressive Unionist Party wholeheartedly believe that the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, as negotiated on the 10th April 1998, and supported by referendum on 22nd May 1998, is our best option for achieving a non-sectarian, pluralist and equitable society for Northern Ireland.


The IRA is committed unequivocally to the search for freedom, justice and peace in Ireland.

In our view, the Good Friday Agreement is a significant development and we believe its full implementation will contribute to the achievement of lasting peace.

We acknowledge the leadership given by Sinn Fein throughout this process.

The IRA is willing to further enhance the peace process and consequently, following the establishment of the institutions agreed on Good Friday last year, the IRA leadership will appoint a representative to enter into discussions with General John de Chastelain and the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning.

P O'Neill

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Opdateret d. 1.1.2009