Downing Street Declaration
The Downing Street Declaration was a joint declaration issued on 15 December 1993 by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

, John Major
John Major
Sir John Major, is a British Conservative politician, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990–1997...

, and the Taoiseach
The Taoiseach is the head of government or prime minister of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas , and must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil.The current Taoiseach is...

 of the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

, Albert Reynolds
Albert Reynolds
Albert Reynolds , served as Taoiseach of Ireland, serving one term in office from 1992 until 1994. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize...

 at the British Prime Minister office in 10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street, colloquially known in the United Kingdom as "Number 10", is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister....

. It affirmed both the right of the people of Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 to self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

, and that Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 would be transferred to the Republic of Ireland from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 if and only if a majority of its population was in favour of such a move. It included, as part of the prospective of the so called Irish dimension, the principle that the people of the island of Ireland, North and South had the exclusive right to solve the issues between North and South by mutual consent. The latter statement, which later would become one of the points of the Good Friday Agreement
Belfast Agreement
The Good Friday Agreement or Belfast Agreement , sometimes called the Stormont Agreement, was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process...

, was key to produce a positive change of attitude by the republicans towards a negotiated settlement. The joint declaration also pledged the governments to seek a peaceful constitutional settlement, and promised that parties linked with paramilitaries (such as Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

) could take part in the talks, so long as they abandoned violence.

The declaration, after a meeting between Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams is an Irish republican politician and Teachta Dála for the constituency of Louth. From 1983 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2011, he was an abstentionist Westminster Member of Parliament for Belfast West. He is the president of Sinn Féin, the second largest political party in Northern...

 and American congressman Bruce Morrison
Bruce Morrison
Bruce Andrew Morrison is a former Congressman from Connecticut and candidate for Governor of Connecticut. He is a lobbyist and immigration lawyer...

, which was followed by a joint statement issued by Adams and John Hume
John Hume
John Hume is a former Irish politician from Derry, Northern Ireland. He was a founding member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, and was co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize, with David Trimble....

, was considered sufficient by the Provisional Irish Republican Army
Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

 to announce a ceasefire
A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty, but they have also been called as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces...

 on 31 August 1994 which was then followed on 13 October by an announcement of a ceasefire from the Combined Loyalist Military Command
Combined Loyalist Military Command
The Combined Loyalist Military Command was an umbrella body for loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland set up in the early 1990s, recalling the earlier Ulster Army Council and Ulster Loyalist Central Co-ordinating Committee....


External links

  • Photos & Recordings of the Inaugural Meeting of the College Historical Society held on the Downing Street Declaration, reuniting Sir John Major, Sir Roderic Lyne
    Roderic Lyne
    Sir Roderic Michael John Lyne KCMG is a former British diplomat who served as British Ambassador to the Russian Federation from 2000 to 2004.-Early life and education:...

     and Martin Mansergh
    Martin Mansergh
    Martin Mansergh is a former Irish Fianna Fáil politician and historian. He was a Teachta Dála for the Tipperary South constituency from May 2007 until his defeat at the general election in February 2011. He was previously a senator from 2002 to 2007.He has played a leading role in formulating...

    in November 2007.
  • Downing Street Declaration. Department of Foreign Affairs. Ireland.
  • House of Commons Hansard Debates for December 15, 1993. The Prime Minister speaks to the House of Commons about the Downing Street/Joint Declaration.
  • Conflict Archive Internet. Research guide from University of Ulster (N. Ireland) on the "Troubles."
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