2. Participants also recalled that, as part of this comprehensive political agreement, the two governments committed to proposing or supporting amendments to the Irish Constitution or british legislation on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. 9. The conference will continue to examine the functioning of the new Anglo-Irish agreement and the mechanisms and institutions put in place under the agreement, including a formal review published three years after the agreement came into force. Representatives of the Northern Ireland administration are invited to take a position in this regard. The Conference will contribute, if necessary, to any revision of the comprehensive political agreement resulting from the multi-party negotiations, but it will not be empowered to repeal the democratic agreements reached by this agreement. The IRA renewed its ceasefire on 20 July 1997 and paved the way for Sinn Féin to participate in the discussions between the parties that had begun under Mitchell`s presidency. However, the issue of decommissioning persisted and the British and Irish governments tried to thwart the issue instead of letting the process derail again. As a result, Ian Paisley`s Hard-Line Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) party came out of the talks and never returned. The DUP refused any concessions on Northern Ireland`s constitutional position or negotiated with Sinn Féin, which it considered a terrorist. Although it was deeply unhappy, the more moderate UUP remained in the discussions. Faced with the DUP`s stated desire to halt the talks, Mitchell later wrote in his memoirs that his decision to leave had indeed helped reach an agreement. However, it is expected to have a lasting influence on Northern Ireland`s policy, as the DUP`s opposition to the Good Friday Agreement has severely hampered its implementation.
Sinn Féin participated in all-party talks on 15 September 1997, after adhesing to the Mitchell Principles. The agreement sets out a framework for the creation and number of institutions in three “parts.” Several groups violated the ceasefire in 1998. In January 1998, peace talks nearly failed when the Loyalists of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) admitted their involvement in the murder of three Catholics and thus their violation of the ceasefire. In this admission, the UFF interrupted its campaign against the killing of Catholics.1 Talks continued and the parties reached a final agreement and signed a comprehensive peace agreement on 10 April 1998. The Good Friday Agreement provided for the creation of the International Independent Commission for Decommissioning (IICD) to monitor, review and verify the complete disarmament of all paramilitary organizations. The deadline for the end of disarmament was May 2000. The Northern Ireland Arms Decommissioning Act (1997), which received royal approval on 27 February 1997, had a provision in section 7 for the creation of an independent decommissioning commission. The law was passed before the agreement was signed in 1998. That is why the Independent International Commission for Decommissioning was established as soon as the agreement was signed and was led by Canadian General John de Chastelain (1 Disarmament did not begin in 1998). Unionists and Republicans disagreed on the interpretation of the decommissioning wording, with Republicans saying they had no formal ties to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and were therefore unable to influence the IRA.
The issue of dismantling delayed the formation of the executive: David Trimble of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) refused to form the government after the July 1998 elections,2″The Good Friday Agreement – Decommissioning,” BBC News, May 2006, consulted on 31 January 2013.