The Good Friday Agreement: decommissioning (1998)

This section of the Good Friday Agreement requires signatories to commit to the decommissioning of weapons by paramilitary groups. Political parties were required to “use any influence they may have” to facilitate the voluntary disarmament of these groups:

“1. Participants recall their agreement in the Procedural Motion adopted on September 24th 1997 “that the resolution of the decommissioning issue is an indispensable part of the process of negotiation”…

2. They note the progress made by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning and the governments in developing schemes which can represent a workable basis for achieving the decommissioning of illegally-held arms in the possession of paramilitary groups.

3. All participants accordingly reaffirm their commitment to the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations. They also confirm their intention to continue to work constructively and in good faith with the Independent Commission, and to use any influence they may have to achieve the decommissioning of all paramilitary arms within two years following the endorsement in referendums, North and South, of the agreement, and in the context of the implementation of the overall settlement.

4. The Independent Commission will monitor, review and verify progress on decommissioning of illegal arms, and will report to both Governments at regular intervals.

6. Both governments will take all necessary steps to facilitate the decommissioning process to include bringing the relevant schemes into force by the end of June.”