Sinn Féin TD and Chair of the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, Seán Crowe TD, is attending a conference in Queen’s University Belfast today to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Panellists at the conference include the Chair of the talks and former US Special Envoy to the North, Senator George J. Mitchell, the former President of the USA, Bill Clinton, former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, former Uachtarán Shinn Féin, Gerry Adams TD, Jonathan Powell, and David Trimble, among others.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and I am delighted to attend this conference in Queen’s to hear from a number of key individuals in the negotiations that led to this historic peace agreement.
“As we mark this important anniversary it’s important that political leaders from all sides recommit to the principles of equality, respect and power sharing which underpin the historic accord.
“While the Agreement has created a peace process which we all deeply value, we must be conscious that 20 years later key elements of the Agreement have yet to be implemented. Clearly more must be done to address the ongoing legacy of the conflict, especially for victims. Further delays, distractions and excuses are not acceptable. The Agreement also speaks of a creating a fair and just society, and 20 years later we still have work to do to achieve this.
“The Agreement remains the basis for solving the current political issues in the North and building a new shared Ireland for all, so we must recommit to achieving its full potential.
“Brexit is also a very real threat to the Agreement. The people in the North voted to remain in the EU and that reality needs to be respected and upheld. They have not consented to Brexit. A hard border, and the economic, social and political disruption that would bring, would completely undermine Agreement.
“The Agreement continues to offer a historic opportunity for a new beginning and fresh start. In our commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement we must take stock of the huge progress made in this regard, but also the unimplemented parts of the accord, the legacy of the conflict, the need for ongoing reconciliation, and the threat that Brexit possesses.”