Completion of the Good Friday Agreement

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2010 National Delegate Conference
23 February 2010
Carried as Amended

The UK government has betrayed the people of Northern Ireland by its rejection of proposals for a Bill of Rights which have the overwhelming support of all communities and the trade union movement. Ignoring the will of the people and the intensive work that has gone into this process over two decades is both disrespectful and unacceptable. The recent role played by the Prime Minister in the Hillsborough Talks disguised the fact that the UK government had abandoned its own responsibility for a crucial element in the completion of the Agreement.

The Equality duty placed on public authorities was an integral part of the Good Friday Agreement and must not be undermined. The ‘Section 75’ duty on the public sector must not be weakened by any proposed Bill of Rights. A strong, inclusive and effective Bill of Rights is essential to secure a just and lasting peace based on equality, respect and protection for all.

The Good Friday Agreement will not be fulfilled until the equality and human rights commitments are fully met and operational. The current practice of sending Northern Ireland delegations to areas of conflict around the world is a mockery unless we can demonstrate that our peace process has been underpinned by effective measures guaranteeing fundamental human rights.

Conference calls on the National Executive Council to bring decisive pressure to bear on the UK government to meet its obligations as party to an agreement which has the status of an international treaty. Particular emphasis should be placed on the urgency for a strong, inclusive and enforceable Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland which has socio-economic rights at its core to underpin the Peace Process and create a fair, just and equal society.