The vague wording of some provisions, called “constructive ambiguities”, helped to secure acceptance of the agreement and postpone debate on some of the most controversial issues. These include paramilitary dismantling, police reform and the standardisation of Northern Ireland. 4. The UK Government will continue its consultations on the regulation and control of firearms on the basis of the document published on 2 April 1998. 7. The Participants also note that the UK Government is in principle prepared to delegate responsibility for police and justice matters, with broad support from political parties and, where appropriate, after consultation with the Irish Government in the ongoing implementation of the relevant recommendations. 35. The Assembly shall first meet for the purposes of the Organisation, without legislative or executive powers, in order to adopt its rules of procedure and working practices and to prepare for the proper functioning of the Assembly, the Anglo-Irish Council and the North/South Council of Ministers and the associated implementing bodies. During this transitional period, the members of the Assembly, who serve as shadow ministers, reaffirm their commitment to non-violence and exclusively peaceful and democratic means, and oppose any use or threat of force by others for any political purpose; Work in good faith to put in place the new rules; and respect the spirit of the official promise that applies to appointed ministers.
The Belfast Agreement is also called the Good Friday Agreement, since it was reached 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. .