April marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, ending the Troubles and bringing peace to Northern Ireland after years of conflict dating back to the 1960s.
While celebrating the achievements of this historic event, we want to look to the future and think about what it could bring for the country.
The Good Friday Agreement’s big success was the reconciliation of the Protestant/ Unionist and Catholic/ Nationalist communities. But what used to be a society defined by these two very distinct communities is now becoming more and more diverse, with people having different identities, including Irish, British, Irish-British, Northern Irish, European, non-European and many more.
A growing number of people believe that this is one of the reasons why the Good Friday Agreement needs to be reviewed. Especially younger people want to redefine what Northern Ireland needs in the next 25 years and beyond.
Volt strongly supports the Good Friday Agreement, but we also encourage exploring new ways of thinking, fulfilling the initial promise of the treaty.
Powersharing should be reviewed as it has been turned into a party-political tool to shut down government. The people of Northern Ireland deserve better.
Another policy that should be driven with renewed focus is introducing non-segregated schools across the country which would be one of the most impactful measures. Children and young adults that grow up and learn together will no longer see the dividing lines of the past but, instead, build a joint future.
The newly agreed Windsor Framework puts Northern Ireland in a unique position to become one of the most interesting economic areas on the planet. If done correctly, this could result in significant investment, wealth creation, and new opportunities.
Looking back at the achievements of the last 25 years should inspire us to look forward and imagine what’s possible in the next 25 years. On this journey, our focus should be on citizen rights, inclusion, equality, continued peace, and new prosperity for all.