These themes – parades, flags and the legacy of the past – were negotiated in 2013 under the chairmanship of Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Meghan L. O`Sullivan, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School and now on the CFR board. The talks involving the five main political parties were not agreed upon, although many of these proposals – including the creation of a historic investigation unit to investigate unsolved deaths during the conflict and a commission to help victims obtain information about the deaths of their loved ones – were a large part of the Stormont House agreement reached in 2014. The Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is included in the UK`s withdrawal agreement from the EU, confirmed that the Good Friday Agreement must be protected in all its parts. The two main political parties in the agreement were the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), led by David Trimble, and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), led by John Hume. The two heads of state and government together won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998. The other parties to the agreement were Sinn Féin, the Alliance Party and the Progressive Unionist Party. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which later became the largest Unionist party, did not support the agreement. When Sinn Féin and loyalist parties entered, they left the talks because republican and loyalist paramilitary weapons had not been decommissioned. Unfortunately, it was not possible to reach an agreement on the implementation of the Stormont House agreement, which deals with the legacy of the past, as a time frame for discussions on the new beginning.
The Irish and British governments have committed to continue work on this issue in order to create an agreed basis for the creation of a new institutional framework for the management of the past, as envisaged in the Stormont Agreement. The peace process has successfully achieved the violence of unrest over the past two decades. Since the conclusion of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, it has been necessary to pursue a number of other political and legal agreements aimed at consolidating the peace settlement provided for by the VPA. 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.