‘Global Ireland – Ireland’s Global Footprint to 2025', sets out the Government’s ambitions for expanding and deepening our international presence and influence. It includes the expansion of Ireland’s mission network which will deepen our impact across priority regions, provide opportunities to grow our trade and inward investment, strengthen political relationships with our partners, promote our values, and support Irish citizens and our diaspora abroad.
Since its launch last year, my Department has been working closely with the Department of the Taoiseach and a range of other Government partners to ensure the effective delivery of the ambitions set out in Global Ireland.
On July 8th, the Taoiseach and I hosted a summit in Dublin Castle which brought together key stake holders from across Government and civil society to review progress one year on, and to set priorities for the year ahead. Significant progress has already been achieved, as set out in the Progress Report which was published concurrently with the summit and which is available on www.gov.ie.
Over the lifetime of Global Ireland we have committed to opening 26 new diplomatic missions and strengthening the existing mission network. To date new Embassies have opened in Wellington, Bogotá, Amman, Monrovia and Santiago de Chile, and new Consulates General in Vancouver, Mumbai and Cardiff, Los Angeles and Frankfurt. We continue with plans to open new Embassies in Kyiv, Manila and Rabat. Our newly opened Missions are working to enhance Ireland’s international visibility; promote our prosperity by developing high level business, community and political contacts; protect and advance Ireland’s interests and values; and deliver on our commitments under Ireland’s new policy for International Development ‘A Better World’.
In addition to delivering an expanded and strengthened bilateral mission network we have sought to deepen our engagement in the multilateral system, including through Ireland’s campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council. This has provided Ireland with an invaluable opportunity to build relationships and contacts across the world which will stand to us long after the campaign has ended.
In October last year we obtained observer status at the Organisation of the Francophonie – an important step in increasing our engagement with the French speaking world.
More recently I launched a new strategy for the US and Canada and a White Paper on International Development Policy. Work is underway on strategies for Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the Asia Pacific Region and Africa. A new diaspora policy will soon be completed following a series of public consultations across Ireland and among Irish diaspora communities overseas led by the Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon T.D. These policies will provide important strategic guidance and direction to our people as they seek to promote our values and advance and protect Ireland’s interests abroad.
My Department is leading preparations for Ireland’s participation at Expo 2020 in Dubai. Expo will showcase Ireland to a global audience, in a region with huge trade and investment potential and will support a 'Team Ireland' approach to promoting Ireland as a global partner for the development of new ideas and technologies, as well as an attractive location for business and investment.