Celebrating 25 Years of Northern Ireland Peace Agreement with Sunak and Biden

The 25th anniversary of the 1998 Good Friday peace accords in Northern Ireland is being commemorated on Monday.

However, the province is currently facing political dysfunction and security concerns, which could overshadow the historic occasion.

No large public events are scheduled for the day itself, but both British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden will arrive on Tuesday to launch several days of high-profile commemorations.

The peace deal reshaped the territory after pro-Irish nationalist and pro-UK unionist leaders reached an unlikely consensus on April 10, 1998, following extended negotiations.

The Good Friday Agreement, brokered by Washington and ratified by governments in Dublin and London, ended three decades of terrible sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland and intermittent terrorist attacks on mainland Britain, which killed over 3,500 people.

Since then, Northern Ireland has struggled to build on the gains made towards peace, with post-Brexit trade arrangements leading to political instability and a rise in violence by dissident republicans.

Despite this, the upcoming events will reflect on Northern Ireland’s transformation since the 1998 peace deal.

British and US leaders will attend a commemorative conference at Queen’s University and host a gala dinner to honour the anniversary.

The following week, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host a three-day conference starting April 17. However, the focus will inevitably be drawn to Northern Ireland’s current challenges.

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