Today's decision by the IRA to move into a new peaceful mode is historic and represents a courageous and confident initiative. It is truly momentous and is a defining point in the search for a lasting peace with justice.
Making peace, I have found, is much harder than making war
When others stood idly by, you and your families gave your all, in defence of a risen people and in pursuit of Irish freedom and unity.
In this context the British and Irish governments will have to promote a new, imaginative and dynamic alternative in which both governments will share power in the north.
For over 30 years, the IRA showed that the British government could not rule Ireland on its own terms.
Your ability as republican volunteers, to rise to this challenge will mean that the two governments and others cannot easily hide from their obligations and their responsibility to resolve these problems.
It will always be a battle a day between those who want maximum change and those who want to maintain the status quo.
The catalyst for much of this change is the growing support for republicanism.
The unionists also for their part, want to minimise the potential for change, not only on the equality agenda but on the issues of sovereignty and ending the union.
At that time, the army leadership said the implementation of this agreement would allow everyone, including the IRA, to take its political objectives forward by peaceful and democratic means.
The last months, weeks and days have seen accelerating discussions, involving the DUP for the first time, about a comprehensive agreement which would see all outstanding matters dealt with and the Good Friday Agreement implemented in full.
One man's transparency is another's humiliation.
But if republicans are to prevail, if the peace process is to be successfully concluded and Irish sovereignty and re-unification secured, then we have to set the agenda - no-one else is going to do that.
Sinn Fein has demonstrated the ability to play a leadership role as part of a popular movement towards peace, equality and justice.
Sinn Fein has productively taken the example of South Africa and, as we develop the peace process, we continue to use examples from South Africa.