As part of the agreement, it was proposed to build on the existing Inter-Parliamentary Commission in English-Irish. Prior to the agreement, the body was composed only of parliamentarians from the British and Irish assemblies. In 2001, as proposed by the agreement, it was extended to include parliamentarians of all members of the Anglo-Irish Council. Mitchell presented a draft document to the parties and representatives of the dublin and London governments on Monday, 6 April. The Unionists opposed it and urged Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and Prime Minister Tony Blair to break in in the hope of saving the agreement and getting it through in time. The result of these referendums was a large majority in both parts of Ireland in favour of the agreement. In the Republic, 56% of the electorate voted, 94% of the vote voted in favour of the revision of the Constitution. The turnout was 81% in Northern Ireland, with 71% of the vote for the agreement. On 10 April 1998, the so-called Good Friday Agreement (or Belfast Agreement) was signed. The agreement helped end a period of conflict in the region, known as a riot. The participants in the agreement were composed of two sovereign states (the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland), with armed forces and police forces involved in the riots. Two political parties, Sinn Féin and the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), were linked to paramilitary organisations: the IRA (Commissional Irish Republican Army) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).
The Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), associated with the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), had withdrawn from the talks three months earlier. Events have already taken place in Washington and New York, and in the coming weeks you will probably hear much more about the historic 1998 peace agreement. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Senator George Mitchell, the U.S. envoy who helped mediate the agreement, are expected to accept Belfast`s freedom on April 10 at an event in the city (the very date of the agreement, Easter is a mobile holiday). The vague wording of some so-called “constructive ambiguities” helped ensure the adoption of the agreement and delayed debate on some of the most controversial issues. These include extra-military dismantling, police reform and the standardisation of Northern Ireland. A copy of the agreement was published in every assembly in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland so that people could read before a referendum where they could vote. Issues of sovereignty, civil and cultural rights, dismantling of arms, demilitarization, justice and police were at the heart of the agreement. The agreement reaffirmed its commitment to “mutual respect, civil rights and religious freedoms for all within the Community.”