The Northern Ireland Peace Process 25 Years On

Back to all Motions

2023 National Delegate Conference
20 February 2023

Conference recognises that 2023 marks the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Conference recalls the repeated support our union has shown for the Agreement and the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Conference notes however that at the time of writing, Northern Ireland does not have a devolved government in place. Conference further notes that many of the commitments made within the Good Friday Agreement and its successor agreements relating to equality and human rights remain unimplemented.

Conference expresses concern that the UK government is currently proceeding with proposed legislation which risks undermining key commitments within the peace agreements on equality and human rights and the legacy of the past. These actions stand in stark contrast to their supposed commitment to uphold the peace agreement and further risk damaging the peace process itself.

Conference reaffirms support for our Northern Ireland region’s stance on the need for not only restoration of devolved government, but of a government which functions on a rights-based agenda. The absence of such an agenda has deepened poverty and division over the past 25 years, particularly amongst groups and communities in greatest need. The cost of living crisis affecting all our members across the UK and in Northern Ireland is exacerbating an already critical situation.

Conference acknowledges the efforts of our activists and members in Northern Ireland in supporting the ICTU ‘Workers Demand Better’ campaign calling for action to be taken to address the cost of living crisis both by the UK government and devolved government in Northern Ireland. This activity by our members has included demonstrations, town hall meetings, and the longest period of sustained industrial action in the health service.

Conference calls on the National Executive Council to continue to support the efforts of our members in Northern Ireland, including through ensuring strong application of the devolution protocol within the union; and providing the necessary resources to support the union’s efforts, not only in peace building, but also in engaging with the respective governments and decision-makers on eradicating poverty and inequality, tackling division, protecting and improving public services, including through insourcing, and by putting social and economic rights at the heart of public policy and collective bargaining.