The North South Ministerial Council meets in Sectoral Format to oversee co-operation in the agreed 12 Areas or Sectors.
The NSMC meets regularly in relation to each of the 12 Sectors. In six of these Sectors, co-operation is taken forward by means of the North South Implementation Bodies and in the six Areas of Co-operation by means of existing mechanisms in each jurisdiction separately, generally through appropriate Government Departments or Agencies.
At these Sectoral meetings of the NSMC, the Irish Government is represented by the Minister or the Minister of State responsible for that Sector, and the Northern Ireland Executive is represented by two Ministers nominated by the First Minister and deputy First Minister on a cross-community basis, one normally being the Minister with responsibility for that Sector within the Executive. This is in line with the requirements of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement 1998 and the Northern Ireland Act 1998 that participation by the Executive in the NSMC must be on a cross-community basis.
After each Sectoral meeting, the Council issues a Joint Communiqué to inform the media and the general public about what was discussed and agreed at the meeting.