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Webinar: On the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement
25 years ago, the Good Friday Agreement ended the Northern Ireland conflict that had lasted for years - one of the fiercest, bloodiest conflicts between the British and Irish in the North of Ireland. After the phase of escalation due to discrimination against the Catholic population by Political unionists, a difficult and repeatedly fragile peace process developed over the years, which finally came to an end in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. This agreement included in particular the willingness to disarm the paramilitary units of the (provisional) Irish Republican Army (IRA), the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) as well as the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), the release of underground fighters from prisons and a clarification of the fates of the disappeared and victims of the conflict, including the IRA as well as the Northern Ireland police of the British military, the secret services and loyalist paramilitaries. In addition, the Good Friday Agreement set out a conditional, consensual way of uniting Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland if the majority of people on both sides agreed to this by referendum. The agreement is based on the three principles of partnership, equality, and mutual respect. However, due to Brexit, the conditions have changed fundamentally, and the agreement seems to be challenged in a new way with the new EU external borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The compromise now reached on the Northern Ireland Protocol between the British government under Rishi Sunak and the European Union has been acknowledged by pro-protocol parties. The question is, can it be implemented politically? How stable is it and what does a possible unification of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland mean?

moderation: Katerina Anastasiou
co/organized transform!europe / Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

Apr 6, 2023 06:00 PM in Budapest

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Martina Anderson
Sinn Féin Representative to Europe, former MEP @Sinn Féin
She is a life-long Irish Republican. She was a political prisoner for 14 years until her release under the Good Friday Agreement. Since her release from prison, she was elected to the northern Assembly, and became one of the first Sinn Féin to served on the Policing Board. She then was appointed a junior Minister to the late Martin McGuinness. Subsequently, she was a MEP for over 7 years before being taken out of the European Parliament by BREXIT. Martina is now Sinn Féin’s representative to Europe.
Colin Harvey
Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Human Rights Centre in the School of Law @Queen’s University Belfast
Also a Fellow of the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, and an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Irish Studies. He has served as Head of the Law School at Queen’s. Before returning to Queen’s (2005) he was Professor of Constitutional and Human Rights Law at the University of Leeds. He has held visiting positions at the University of Michigan, Fordham University, and the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has taught at the George Washington University – Oxford University Summer School in International Human Rights Law and the international human rights program at the University of Oxford. He served two terms as a Commissioner on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, is the General Editor of Human Rights Law in Perspective (Hart-Bloomsbury) and is on the editorial boards of Human Rights Law Review and European Human Rights Law Review. He has written and taught extensively on human rights and constitutional law.
Seán Byers
@Trademark Belfast
Seán Byers works for Trademark Belfast, a trade union linked organisation focused on political education, post-conflict transformation and the new economy.
Heinz Bierbaum
chair of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Executive Board @Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (RLS)
Heinz Bierbaum is a sociologist and economist and since November 2022, chair of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Executive Board. He has served as the head of the International Commission of the party Die LINKE. In December 2019 he was elected new president of the Party of the European Left, and served this position until December 2022. He has previously served as a Secretary of the trade union IG Metall from 1980 to 1996, and he has produced scholarly work focused on industrial and social policy.