Issues of sovereignty, civil and cultural rights, weapons dismantling, demilitarization, justice and police work were at the heart of the agreement. The agreement was reached between the British and Irish governments and eight political parties or groups in Northern Ireland. Three were representative of unionism: the Ulster Unionist Party, which had led Unionism in Ulster since the early twentieth century, and two smaller parties linked to loyalist paramilitaries, the Progressive Unionist Party (associated with the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Democratic Party (the political wing of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA)). Two of them have generally been described as nationalists: the Social Democratic and Labour Party and Sinn Féin, the Republican Party associated with the Commissional Irish Republican Army.   Regardless of these rival traditions, there were two other rallying parties, the Alliance Inter-communal party and the Northern Ireland Women`s Coalition. There was also the Labour Coalition. U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell was sent by U.S. President Bill Clinton to lead discussions between the parties and groups.  The Belfast Agreement is also called the Good Friday Agreement, as it was concluded on Good Friday, 10 April 1998.
It was an agreement between the British and Irish governments and most of Northern Ireland`s political parties on how to govern Northern Ireland. The discussions that led to the agreement focused on issues that have led to conflicts in recent decades. The aim was to create a new decentralised government for Northern Ireland, in which unionists and nationalists would share power. Over the past two decades, the peace process has been successful in overcoming the violence of the unrest once and for all. Since the conclusion of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, it has been necessary to pursue a number of successive political and legal agreements in order to consolidate the peace settlement provided for by the GSP. Unfortunately, it was not possible to reach an agreement on the implementation of the legacy provisions of the Stormont House Agreement within the deadline for the fresh-start discussions. The Irish and British Governments have committed to continue work on this issue in order to lay the foundations for an agreement for the creation of the new institutional framework for the confirmation of the past, as provided for in the Stormont House Agreement. . . .