The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN

The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN
The Global Island
Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World

                                                  RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN
                                                GOVERNMENT OF IRELAND
The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN
            I   REL                    㪗


The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN


Ireland’s last major statement            our Ambassadors and comprising             As we approach the centenary of the
of foreign policy priorities was          representatives of our Embassies and       Easter Rising in 2016, it is timely to take
published almost 20 years ago, in         State Agencies. Annual Local Market        stock of our place in the world and
the 1996 White Paper Challenges           Plans have assisted with our healthy       the interests and values we wish to
and Opportunities Abroad. In the          export market, which has grown every       promote through our foreign policy.
intervening years, we have witnessed      year since 2011.
rapid and significant change – shifting                                              This policy review is the product of a
patterns of power and influence,          This enhanced focus on trade and           review initiated by my predecessor as
conflicts, wars and terrorism, new        economic recovery is part of the broad     Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,
technologies facilitating instantaneous   role of the Department of Foreign          Eamon Gilmore T.D., and has involved
communication across the world and        Affairs and Trade. Today, our security,    consultation across Government,
a growing interdependence between         our prosperity and the wellbeing of        with members of the Oireachtas,
economies, societies and people.          our people are connected to the wider      with civil society and with members
                                          world as never before. In the world        of the public.
In 2008, Ireland experienced              of 2015, nothing is entirely foreign or
an unprecedented economic                 wholly domestic.                           Written in clear and accessible
collapse. The crash, when it came,                                                   language, it offers a progressive and
brought home very powerfully              This means that our foreign policy is      forward-looking vision of Ireland’s
our vulnerabilities as a small open       more important to us now than at any       foreign policy and our place in the
economy but also our strengths – as       time in our history.                       world. It lays down the goals and key
a longstanding and fully engaged                                                     areas of focus for the Government’s
member of the European Union, a           Through it, we safeguard our peace,        global engagement to safeguard a
significant factor in the stabilisation   security and economic prosperity,          secure and prosperous future for the
of our national finances and in our       and promote reconciliation and             Irish people, and to make a distinctive
burgeoning economic recovery.             cooperation at home. At the core of this   and principled contribution to the
                                          foreign policy are the protection of our   collective international effort to build a
The Department of Foreign Affairs and     citizens and the promotion of our          better world.
Trade has played an important role in     values abroad.
implementing this Government’s plan                                                  This is a vision of which Irish people
to turn the Irish economy around. In      Our foreign policy is also a statement     can be proud. I know too, that as
2011, the Department was allocated        about us as a people. We have a proud      a resilient people with our own
responsibility for Trade, following       tradition of principled engagement         global story, we have the capability
which the Export Trade Council was        on issues such as development, UN          and the confidence to meet these
established to co-ordinate across all     peacekeeping, disarmament and              challenges together.
Government Departments and State          human rights. This is a central part
agencies involved in the promotion        of our foreign policy. A secure and
and development of trade, tourism         prosperous Ireland is better placed
and investment. Overseas, Local           to make its voice heard in support of      Charles Flanagan T.D.
Market Teams have been established        our values.                                Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
in 27 priority markets; chaired by
The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN


Foreword                          1

Embracing a Changing World       4

Our People                       12   Our Values            26   Our Prosperity                     44

Reconciliation and Cooperation        A Secure World        28   Driving Economic Growth            45
in Ireland                       13
                                      A Just World          34   Removing Barriers to Trade,
Serving our People Abroad        16                              Investment and Mobility            47
                                      A Fairer World        37
Connecting with the                                              Ensuring a Sustainable and
Global Irish Family              22   A Sustainable World   42   Competitive Tax Regime             49

Sharing our Culture              25                              Deepening Engagement with
                                                                 Priority and High Potential Markets 51

                                                                 Making the Most of our
                                                                 Competitive Advantages             58
The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN

Our Place                            Our Influence                   72

in Europe                      62

Engaging at the Heart of Europe 63   An Accountable Foreign Policy   74

Responding to                        An Open Approach to
Critical Challenges            64    Foreign Policy                  75

Our EU Priorities              66    The Department of
                                     Foreign Affairs and Trade       78
Building Alliances and
Influencing Outcomes           66

A Strong European Voice
in the World                   69
The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN
Embracing a
Changing World
The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN
EMBRACING A CHANGING WORLD                                                                                                  5

The world is no                            solutions, and in how the world looks
                                           and works. As a small country with
                                                                                      Ireland. It is also an increasingly
                                                                                      important global actor in its own right.
longer foreign                             one of the most globalised economies       Our membership of the EU underpins

                                           in the world, we are profoundly            our position and role in the world and
        lthough an island, Ireland         influenced by these changes.               how we conduct our foreign policy.
        is connected to the global
        community in ways that             While Europe, North America and the        Economic power is shifting. Despite the
would have seemed fanciful only            western world more generally continue      recent financial crisis, global economic
a generation ago. We connect               to enjoy prosperity, security and global   output is projected to double by 2030,
instantaneously with people and            influence, the rise in prominence          with growing demand for food, energy
events around the globe. Our               of countries in the East and South         and natural resources. Much of this
people and our outlook are global,         is transforming the way the global         growth will be in emerging economies
influencing and influenced by this         system works. Emerging powers are          in Asia, Africa and Latin America. By
contact. Our culture shapes and is         playing a role of growing importance       2030, the Organisation for Economic
shaped by these connections. Our           on the world stage, increasingly active    Cooperation and Development (OECD)
economy is interwoven with that of         on a wide range of issues.                 projects that China and India together
the rest of the world.                                                                will account for 35% of global Gross
                                           Regional organisations are also playing    Domestic Product (GDP), while OECD
Our world is changing faster than          an ever more important role. The most      countries’ share will fall by more
we think. This change can be seen in       integrated, successful and influential     than 10%.
shifting balances of economic and          of these is the European Union, which
political influence, in a widening range   has profoundly transformed relations
of global challenges that require global   between European states, including
The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN
6                                            EMBRACING A CHANGING WORLD

The world population is growing.             A CHANGING WORLD ECONOMY, 2010-2030
The UN estimates it will be almost 8.5
billion by 2030, a rise of 22% since 2010,   Global GDP is taken as a sum of GDP for 34 OECD countries and 8 non‑OECD countries
with most of this growth in emerging
economies and developing regions,
which are projected to account for 7.1
                                                                                                India 6%
billion people by 2030. In the same
                                                                                                United States 23%
year, it is forecast that countries of the                                                      Japan 7%
European Union will represent about                               2011                          Euro area 17%
6% of the world’s population, down                                                              Other OECD 18%
                                                                                                Other non OECD 12%
from 8.9% in 1990.
                                                                                                China 17%

The world is also ageing and becoming
more urban. Already, more than
half the world’s population lives in
urban areas and, by 2030, the OECD                                                              India 11%
                                                                                                United States 18%
projects that 60% will do so. The global
                                                                                                Japan 4%
population aged over sixty years is
                                                                  2030                          Euro area 12%
projected to almost double to 1.4                                                               Other OECD 15%
billion by 2030, with 70% of this group                                                         Other non OECD 12%
                                                                                                China 28%
concentrated in developing regions.

The accelerating pace of technological
innovation is also reshaping our             Source: OECD Economic Policy Paper No.3 Looking to 2060: Long-term global growth prospects, 2012
world. It took seventy-five years for
the telephone to reach fifty million
users, but only thirty-eight years for
                                             A GROWING GLOBAL MIDDLE CLASS, 2010-2030
radio, thirteen years for television,
and just four years for the internet.
There are almost three billion internet                    3500

users today, two-thirds in developing
countries. This growth is largely being
driven by mobile broadband, which
grew over 40% in Africa in the period
2011-2014. Simultaneously, the number                      2500

of mobile phone subscriptions is
approaching the number of people                           2000
on earth, over half of which are in the
Asia-Pacific region alone.

Global economic development is
lifting millions out of poverty, while                     1000
increasing prosperity is changing
consumption patterns, giving rise to
demand for education, travel, food and
consumer goods and services. Rising
GDP is contributing to a growing                           0
                                                                  2010               2015                   2020                 2025           2030
global middle class, which is projected
to reach 4.9 billion by 2030, up from                                North America     Europe                      Central & South America
1.8 billion in 2009. By 2030, Asia alone                            Asia Pacific       Sub-Saharan Africa          MIddle East & North Africa
is expected to account for 66% of the
global middle class. An expanding            Source: OECD Working Paper No. 285 The Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries (2010)
global economy offers opportunities
The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN
EMBRACING A CHANGING WORLD                                                                                                      7

                                                                                       pose significant challenges across the
                                                                                       globe, and for low-lying countries and
                                                                                       small island states in particular.

                                                                                       The range, complexity and cross-
                                                                                       cutting nature of global challenges
                                                                                       demand a coordinated approach at
                                                                                       both national and international levels.
                                                                                       This requires a functioning system
                                                                                       of global governance capable of
                                                                                       developing and upholding a rules-
                                                                                       based international system.

                                                                                       The structures of international
                                                                                       governance: the UN, the World Trade
                                                                                       Organisation (WTO) and others are
                                                                                       being increasingly supplemented by
                                                                                       groups of countries cooperating to
                                                                                       shape the global agenda, in formats
                                                                                       such as the G7/8 and G20. But the
                                                                                       consensus which has underpinned and
                                                                                       sustained these structures is under
                                                                                       pressure. Challenges to the rules-
                                                                                       based international order can arise
                                                                                       unexpectedly and even in our own
                                                                                       neighbourhood, as the crisis in Ukraine
                                                                                       has shown.

                                                                                       Notwithstanding instability in Europe’s
                                                                                       neighbourhood, Ireland is fortunate in
                                                                                       its geopolitical location, surrounded
                                                                                       by friends and partners. But
                                                                                       developments farther afield can also
for exports of goods and services, but     and digital technology to threaten          quickly and directly impact our shores,
also brings increased competition for      human security and the stability of         as evidenced by the volcanic ash cloud
markets, jobs and investment.              critical infrastructure.                    in 2010, the global financial crisis or the
                                                                                       Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Despite this progress, the world           As more of the world population
remains marked by inequality and           comes online, the transformative            If we want the best future for our
unacceptable levels of poverty.            power of the internet can educate,          people, we must work constructively
                                           inform and innovate but it can              with new and existing partners
It is also becoming more volatile and      also be used for criminal or hostile        and reflect constantly on how, as a
more uncertain. Managing risks as well     purposes. Addressing issues of internet     small country, we can best influence
as opportunities is an essential task of   governance, cyber-security and              developments in our favour.
our foreign policy.                        maintaining an open, free and secure
                                           cyberspace are critically important for     Ireland’s foreign policy is the
Fragile states and intrastate violence     our future.                                 mechanism through which we do this.
are an increasing source of insecurity,
affecting human rights, the rule of        Climate change is one of the biggest        Our relations are conducted through
law and development. Transnational         global challenges of this century. Global   a global network of embassies,
organised crime and terrorist              warming and related extreme weather         consulates and State agency offices in
organisations are able to capitalise on    events, flooding and rising sea-levels      96 locations managing relations with
a globalised economy, communications                                                   178 countries.
The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN
8                                                    EMBRACING A CHANGING WORLD

AN AGEING WORLD, 2010–2030



                                                                                                       0-59 years                       0-59 years
                                                                                            2010                       2030
                                                                                                       60+ years                        60+ years


                    54,981                                              162,063   212,883                    119,676

                   1,031,084 1,634,366        4,202,099 4,934,163      740,3308   736,364          596,191   716,671          346,501     403,373

                        Africa                      Asia                    Europe                 Latin America                  North
                                                   Pacific*                                           and the                    America

Source: UNDESA World Population Prospects: 2012 Revision

Our direct, bilateral relations are                  attractive location for investment and          together, we are better able to navigate
only part of a more complex regional                 tourism and a source of high quality            a fast-changing world, and to promote
and international framework within                   goods and services.                             the interests and values we share with
which we operate. Our place in the                                                                   our fellow member states.
world is underpinned by a number                     Our influence is amplified and
of interests, including a strong and                 significantly strengthened by our               We have also used our membership of
effective European Union; a world                    membership of the European                      the United Nations to project our values
system based on the rule of law with                 Union and our participation in the              which, shaped by our history, include a
strong global institutions; and an open,             United Nations.                                 strong commitment to international
free and rules-based global economy.                                                                 peace and stability; to human rights,
Promoting these interests is part of                 The European Union is fundamental               equality and the rule of law; and to
our foreign policy.                                  to Ireland’s future. In our four decades        solidarity with those suffering from
                                                     of membership, it has assisted social           poverty, hunger and disadvantage. We
As a result of the recent economic                   and economic transformation in                  have a distinguished record of service
crisis, greater emphasis has been                    Ireland and helped us grow and                  in UN peacekeeping and in exercising
placed on promoting economic                         prosper as a people. As we come                 leadership responsibilities at the UN, in
growth and rebuilding Ireland’s                      through a challenging economic and              particular on development, disarmament
reputation as part of our international              financial crisis, the EU remains central        and non-proliferation issues. And we are
engagement. This has required a                      to our long-term economic stability             one of the best known advocates at the
whole-of-Government approach driven                  and growth.                                     UN for solutions to problems of conflict,
by the international engagement of all                                                               injustice and inequality.
members of Government, and reflected                 The EU, above all through its
and supported in the work of Ireland’s               progressive enlargement, has                    Our contribution at the UN is
embassies and agencies on the ground.                reshaped our continent and its wider            distinctive and highly respected. It
This will continue as Ireland maintains              neighbourhood, extending a zone                 has enabled us to exercise greater
a focus on positioning itself as a                   of peace and stability challenged by            influence in international relations.
sustainable, competitive economy, an                 developments on its borders. By acting
EMBRACING A CHANGING WORLD                                                                                                      9


The first, Our People, takes stock of the    The third, Our Prosperity, considers the    The fifth and final theme,
ongoing work in pursuit of peace and         global economic background to the           Our Influence, considers how Ireland
reconciliation on the island of Ireland;     ongoing efforts in support of recovery,     can best leverage the resources
the provision of support for Irish           growth and job creation, in particular      available to secure the maximum
citizens travelling, living and working      through trade, tourism, education,          benefit for the Irish people from
abroad; the growing engagement with          investment and the enhancement of           Ireland’s international engagement.
the Irish diaspora; and the promotion        Ireland’s reputation.
of Irish culture abroad.

The second, Our Values, sets out             The fourth theme, Our Place in Europe,
Ireland’s support for a fairer, more just,   considers the fundamental importance
more secure and more sustainable             for Ireland in all of the foregoing areas
world through our development                of our membership of the EU and how
programme, human rights policies,            the Government engages across the
peacekeeping, disarmament and                broad agenda of EU decision-making
security policies and growing                to safeguard and promote the interests
engagement with emerging global              of Ireland and to shape the EU and its
issues including climate change.             global engagement.
It also considers the role of the
European Union and United Nations            All Government Departments are
in amplifying Ireland’s voice and            external actors, reflecting the growing
extending its influence.                     extent to which domestic and external
                                             policy making are connected. This is
                                             particularly so in an EU context, but
                                             also at the UN and other global and
                                             regional institutions, and in bilateral
                                             relations with other countries.

         Diplomatic &
        Consular Offices

Connecting Ireland
with the World:
The Government’s Global Network
  Location of Diplomatic or Consular Office   Locations with a State Agency office

Africa                             Europe
Abuja                              Amsterdam
Addis Ababa                        Ankara
Dar es Salaam                      Athens
Freetown                           Berlin
Johannesburg                       Berne
Kampala                            Bratislava
Lilongwe                           Brussels                                 Paris
Lusaka                             European Union, Brussels                 OECD, Paris
Maputo                             Partnership for Peace, Brussels          Prague
Nairobi                            Bucharest                                Riga
Pretoria                           Budapest                                 Rome
                                   Copenhagen                               Sofia
Asia Pacific                       Dusseldorf                               Stockholm
Bangalore                          Edinburgh                                Council of Europe, Strasbourg   The Americas
Bangkok                            Frankfurt                                Tallinn                         Atlanta
Beijing                            United Nations, Geneva                   Valletta                        Austin
Canberra                           Glasgow                                  Vienna                          Boston
Hanoi                              The Hague                                OSCE, Vienna                    Brasilia
Hong Kong                          Helsinki                                 Vilnius                         Buenos Aires
Jakarta                            The Holy See                             Warsaw                          Chicago
Kuala Lumpur                       Istanbul                                 Zagreb                          Mexico
Mumbai                             Lisbon                                                                   New York
New Delhi                          Ljubljana                                Middle East and North Africa    United Nations, New York
Perth                              London                                   Abu Dhabi                       North California
Seoul                              Luxembourg                               Cairo                           Ottawa
Shanghai                           Madrid                                   Doha                            San Francisco
Shenzhen                           Milan                                    Dubai                           South California
Singapore                          Moscow                                   Ramallah                        Sao Paulo
Sydney                             Nicosia                                  Riyadh                          Toronto
Tokyo                              Oslo                                     Tel Aviv                        Washington
State Agency

  offices in

Our People
OUR PEOPLE                                                                                                                                              13

        rticle 2 of the Constitution
        defines the Irish nation by
        reference to its people, and
records the special affinity of the Irish
nation with people of Irish ancestry
living abroad who share its cultural
identity and heritage

and Cooperation                                    President Higgins with Queen Elizabeth, First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister

in Ireland
                                                   Martin McGuinness and Secretary of State Villiers during the State Visit to Britain in April 2014.
                                                   Photo: Fennell Photography

Our peace process has transformed the              objectives, provides an opportunity                      Through its Reconciliation Fund,
lives of people throughout the island of           for a new beginning for partnership                      the Department of Foreign Affairs
Ireland for the better.                            government in Northern Ireland. The                      and Trade provides annual funding
                                                   Agreement itself covers a broad range                    of €2.7 million to some 150
The Good Friday Agreement and                      of political, social and economic issues.                community, voluntary and civil society
succeeding Agreements have opened                                                                           organisations. A new strategy for the
up new possibilities and opportunities             It sets out a plan for financial and                     Fund was published in June 2014 and
for people, North and South, exerting              budgetary reform. It proposes a way                      will be reviewed within three years.
a positive influence on our society,               forward on flags, identity, culture and
our economy and our international                  tradition through the establishment                      Marking significant events in the
reputation. Other parts of the world               of a commission. It envisages the                        history of our island on an inclusive
experiencing conflict look to Ireland for          devolution of responsibility for parades                 and respectful basis can contribute to
ideas and inspiration.                             to the Northern Ireland Assembly.                        fostering reconciliation and greater
                                                   It establishes a programme of                            understanding. In commemorating the
While huge progress has been made,                 institutional reform at Stormont and                     Decade of Centenaries, opportunities
a recent and authoritative assessment              progresses a number of outstanding                       will arise to explore the shared and
of the peace process made for sobering             aspects of prior Agreements. Very                        divided histories of these islands
reading; “Northern Ireland remains                 significantly, it establishes a new                      in a mutually sympathetic way.
a very deeply divided society” where               comprehensive framework for dealing                      The centenary of the Easter Rising
a “fault line runs through education,              with the corrosive legacy of the Past.                   in 2016 will be the centre-piece of
housing and many other aspects of                                                                           the Government’s commemorative
daily life”*. There are therefore no               Our focus in the period ahead will                       programme. It will have a particular
grounds for complacency and work                   be the effective and expeditious                         significance for North South and
to achieve true reconciliation and                 implementation of the Stormont                           Irish‑British relations.
to unlock the social and economic                  House Agreement. Implementation
potential that would flow from that                of the Agreement is likely to be as                      It will be important to engage the
will remain a priority objective of                challenging as its negotiation. In this                  political leaders of the future who
the Government.                                    regard, British and Irish Government                     will have to carry this work forward.
                                                   engagement in the review and                             The North South Inter-Parliamentary
The Stormont House Agreement of 23                 monitoring process will be vital.                        Association, established in 2012,
December 2014, with reconciliation                                                                          promotes cooperation between
and economic renewal as its twin                   The Government’s commitment                              members of the Houses of the
                                                   to partnership and reconciliation                        Oireachtas and the Northern Ireland
                                                   will continue to be advanced at a                        Assembly and will be a very important
                                                   political level and also through direct                  framework for this work.
* Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report No.3,
March 2014, by Dr. Paul Nolan, published by the    engagement at community level across
Northern Ireland Community Relations Council       Northern Ireland.
14                                                   OUR PEOPLE

                                                                                                 February 2014, accompanied by
                                                                                                 ministers from Dublin, Belfast and
                                                                                                 London. We will build on the success
                                                                                                 of this visit, involving the development
                                                                                                 agencies in both parts of the island,
                                                                                                 to pursue opportunities in other
                                                                                                 emerging markets and will work
                                                                                                 together to support efforts to bring the
                                                                                                 Rugby World Cup to Ireland in 2023.

                                                                                                 The Department of Foreign Affairs and
                                                                                                 Trade advances work on these issues,
                                                                                                 including through its offices within
                                                                                                 the British Irish Intergovernmental
                                                                                                 Secretariat in Belfast and through the
Members of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Dublin in March 2014              North South Ministerial Council Joint
                                                                                                 Secretariat in Armagh. In July 2014,
The continuing support and                           Executive is seconded to Ireland’s          Seán Sherlock TD was the first Minister
engagement of the US administration,                 Permanent Representation to the EU          of State appointed with responsibility
the European Union and other                         in Brussels.                                for North South Cooperation.
partners, as well as the Irish
diaspora for the ongoing process                     Regular meetings of the North               The Irish-British relationship has been
of reconciliation has been, and will                 South Ministerial Council promote           both a catalyst for positive change in
remain, critically important. US                     cooperation in a range of areas. In six     Northern Ireland and a beneficiary
involvement at the highest level                     of the agreed North South sectors,          of that change. The State Visit by
remains a fundamental support for                    co-operation is taken forward by            President Michael D. Higgins to the
the political institutions in Northern               Implementation Bodies operating on          United Kingdom in 2014, and the State
Ireland, while the EU Peace Programme                an all-island basis, while in other areas   Visit to Ireland by Queen Elizabeth in
provides an important underpinning of                of cooperation, common policies and         2011, demonstrated that relations have
the long-term work of reconciliation.                approaches are agreed in the Council.       never been better.
                                                     In the tourism sector, the island of
The Government enjoys a close and                    Ireland is promoted abroad by Tourism       The Irish in Britain contribute to the
comprehensive political relationship                 Ireland. As we look forward, there must     strength and vitality of relations. Up to
with the Northern Ireland Executive.                 be a growing emphasis on working in         one-in-four people in Britain has Irish
North South relations have been placed               partnership with the Northern Ireland       heritage. There is virtually no aspect
increasingly on a sound and forward-                 Executive to benefit from international     of British civic or political life that has
looking basis, with a shared interest                opportunities to boost competitiveness      not been enriched by contributions
in cooperating to support economic                   and to attract jobs and visitors            from the Irish community. There are
growth, bringing real, tangible mutual               to Ireland.                                 50,000 Irish-born directors of British
benefits to people across the island.                                                            companies, for example, and a network
                                                     There are for instance opportunities        of Irish societies link this vibrant
Cooperation has focused on putting                   to develop trade links with emerging        community to Ireland.
in place policies to promote growth                  markets on an all-island basis. By
in exports and foreign investment;                   working together we can scale-up to         A Joint Statement by Taoiseach, Enda
working together on upgrading                        target more effectively opportunities       Kenny, and Prime Minister, David
services; creating jobs and improving                for our exports, for our education          Cameron, in 2012 set out a framework
young people’s skills. There is also                 sector and for our tourism industry.        for cooperation between Ireland and
agreement to optimise the use of                     Ireland’s embassy network is assisting      the UK. An annual summit reviews
public money through the most                        trade missions and companies from           progress and oversees cooperation
effective delivery of services to the                both parts of the island. The first joint   in a wide range of areas, supported
public. There is cooperation in an EU                trade mission involving companies           by a unique structure of meetings
context on a wide range of issues and                from Ireland, North and South, and          of administrative heads of Irish and
an official from the Northern Ireland                from Britain visited Singapore in           British Government Departments.
OUR PEOPLE                                                                                                                                           15

                                                                                                              Our Place in Europe, but it also has
                                                                                                              wide-ranging implications for our
                                                                                                              continuing political relations within
                                                                                                              Northern Ireland, North South
                                                                                                              cooperation and political and economic
                                                                                                              relations between Ireland and Britain.

                                                                                                              Managing these issues and their
                                                                                                              impact will be a major priority in the
                                                                                                              coming years.

Island of Ireland Peace Park, Belgium, where            Minister Seán Sherlock delivering a TEDx talk
69,974 killed, wounded or missing Irish WWI             in Belfast
soldiers are remembered

Close relations with the devolved                       Discussions on enhanced devolution
administrations, ensure that Irish                      for Scotland and on political changes
                                                                                                               My Job:
interests are advanced and links                        across the UK will have implications
fostered with Scotland and Wales                        for the devolved administration in
                                                                                                               Margaret Stanley
while the British-Irish Council with                    Northern Ireland. As debate gets under
                                                                                                               Deputy Joint Secretary, North South
its Secretariat in Edinburgh supports                   way, we will need to maintain contact
                                                                                                               Ministerial Council, Armagh
wider regional cooperation in a                         with the British government and with
growing range of areas.                                 all administrations. Our objective is to               I work closely with both Irish and
                                                        ensure that, whatever the outcome of                   Northern Irish civil servants to
Despite these positive developments,                    this process, our relations with all parts             ensure the smooth running of the
there are issues which will unfold in                   of the UK continue to flourish.                        North South Ministerial Council
the coming years which, at minimum,                                                                            (NSMC), Armagh, established as a
will change the way business is carried                 The possibility of a change in Britain’s               part of the Good Friday Agreement.
out with our nearest neighbour, and                     relationship with the EU has strategic                 It works on matters of mutual
which could have a significant impact                   consequences for Ireland, which are                    interest on an all-island and cross-
on Ireland.                                             addressed further in the chapter                       border basis.

                                                                                                               Our focus is on areas that can assist
                                                                                                               economic recovery, job creation, the
                                                                                                               best use of public funds and the
                                                                                                               most effective delivery of services
                                                                                                               for citizens across the island. As a
                                                                                                               separate part of my work, I engage
                                                                                                               in outreach amongst the business,
                                                                                                               community and non-governmental
                                                                                                               sectors in Northern Ireland with the
                                                                                                               aim of promoting cooperation for
                                                                                                               mutual benefit.

Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, pictured at Stormont with Northern Ireland First
Minister, Peter Robinson, and Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness
16                                           OUR PEOPLE

Serving our
People Abroad

Consular Assistance

Irish people are travelling more
frequently, for shorter periods, to more
diverse locations with over six million
visits abroad in 2013. This is a three-
fold increase over two decades and                                                     My Job
the number will continue to rise. With
more people travelling for business or                                                 Brendan Maloney
                                             More is being done to communicate
leisure to less secure parts of the world,                                             Duty Officer, Dublin
                                             with our citizens travelling abroad
there is growing demand for advice
                                             in a clear and timely fashion, in         In addition to my current role in the
and assistance.
                                             particular through increased use of       Office of the Secretary General, I also
                                             technology and social media. An online    participate in the Departmental
The Department of Foreign Affairs and
                                             registration service allows travellers    Duty Officer rota which deals with
Trade dealt with tens of thousands of
                                             to register their contact details prior   emergencies abroad that arise
requests for assistance in 2014, this
                                             to travel, so that contact can be made    overnight or at the weekend. Most
included over 1,650 serious consular
                                             in the event of an emergency or           are requests for consular assistance,
emergencies and cases of Irish people
                                             crisis situation. Travel information      with calls from all over the world.
injured, hospitalised or dying abroad.
                                             and advice are regularly updated on
                                                                                       Each situation is different. As the
                                             Department and embassy websites
In an uncertain and often unstable                                                     first point of contact, I may be
                                             and our travel advice Twitter feed.
global environment, complex                                                            required to deal with a medical
emergencies can affect Irish citizens                                                  emergency abroad (accidents, injury,
                                             As Irish citizens are travelling at a
in several places at one time, requiring                                               illness, or death), cases where Irish
                                             younger age, travel advice needs to be
a very high level of preparedness                                                      citizens are arrested or detained
                                             more accessible to these age groups
and flexibility. For example, in 2011                                                  abroad (or who are victims of crime,
                                             to create greater awareness and
Ireland mounted simultaneous                                                           stolen passports, etc), reports of
                                             understanding of the scope, limits and
consular responses to the Christchurch                                                 missing persons and child abduction
                                             extent of consular assistance.
earthquake in New Zealand, the                                                         cases. Successful management of a
earthquake and tsunami in Japan and                                                    case involves swift, effective liaison
                                             A new and more complex consular
evacuated around 400 Irish citizens                                                    with the relevant Irish embassy,
                                             landscape is emerging, seen in the
from Libya.                                                                            consulate or honorary consul and
                                             growth in international parental child
                                                                                       with the appropriate authorities in
                                             abduction, increasing numbers of
A stand-by Consular Crisis Centre in                                                   Ireland, such as An Garda Síochána.
                                             dual-citizens beyond the traditional
Dublin can be staffed and activated in
                                             diaspora countries, and new
an emergency. Flexible arrangements
                                             challenges such as cases involving
with EU partners can assist in
                                             forced marriage.
attending to consular needs in a more
responsive and coordinated manner,
for example working closely with a
number of EU partners on the 2011
Libya evacuation, with the Dutch in
Syria and with the British in West
Africa in response to the Ebola crisis.
OUR PEOPLE                                                                                                               17


  •   The peace process has transformed the lives of          •   We made 6.3 million visits abroad in 2013, up 300%
      people throughout the island of Ireland;                    in 20 years;
  •   Supporting the provisions of the Good Friday            •   631,000 passports were issued in 2013, 14% to Irish
      Agreement is a priority;                                    citizens living abroad;
  •   We are committed to promoting an all-island             •   Travel advice is regularly updated on Department
      approach across all areas of government;                    and embassy websites and twitter feeds;
  •   Cooperation in support of reconciliation, prosperity    •   With more people travelling the number of requests
      and a shared perspective on Northern Ireland is at          for emergency assistance to our embassies and
      the heart of the Irish-British relationship;                consulates has risen;
  •   The Reconciliation Fund provides annual funding for     •   Our embassies deal with over 800,000 consular,
      community, voluntary and civil society organisations.       passport and visa queries annually.

                        Promoting Partnership,
                                                                     Serving our People
                          Reconciliation and

                          Connecting with the
                                                                    Sharing our Culture
                           Global Irish Family

  •   An estimated 70 million people claim Irish descent;     •   Our culture is a bridge between our island, the
  •   Working with the Irish diaspora is a priority               global Irish family and the world;
      for Government;                                         •   Almost two thirds of tourists visit because of our
  •   The overseas Irish are a diverse group with diverse         history and culture;
      needs and interests;                                    •   We work with Culture Ireland to promote Irish
  •   The Emigrant Support Programme has provided                 culture and artists;
      €114.6 million to Irish community projects              •   St Patrick’s Day is a unique opportunity to showcase
      worldwide since 2004;                                       Ireland;
  •   Projects include support for new immigrants,            •   We are working to support interest in the Irish
      isolated people and business networks;                      language around the world.
  •   The diverse population of our island offers new
      opportunities to strengthen our outreach.
18                                 OUR PEOPLE


                    consular, passport and visa queries
                    handled annually by embassies
                    and consulates
                                                                My Job

                                                                Sharifah Shahabudin

                    Over                                        Consular assistance and visas,
                                                                Embassy Kuala Lumpur

                                                                I work on the embassy consular
                                                                assistance desk, helping Irish
                    documents authenticated in 2014             people in difficulty in Malaysia and
                                                                Thailand. The large number of Irish
                                                                visitors to Thailand especially means
                                                                that this embassy is one of our
                                                                busiest consular posts. I assist people

                    Over                                        and families when Irish citizens
                                                                die abroad, become seriously ill or
                                                                injured, are arrested or imprisoned,
                                                                or encounter other difficulties. This
                                                                involves liaising with families and
                    letters of freedom to Irish citizens
                                                                friends, the consular assistance unit
                    getting married or entering into civil      in Dublin, and the authorities here.
                    partnerships abroad in 2014
                                                                I am also visa officer. We processed
                                                                around 1,450 visa applications
                                                                in 2013 which requires attention
                                                                to detail, as well as liaising with
                    Assistance provided to

                                                                applicants, embassy staff, and
                                                                the Irish National Immigration
                                                                Service. People visiting Ireland from
                                                                abroad, especially for tourism, bring
                                                                considerable revenue to Ireland
                    Irish citizens following serious consular   so it is important to provide a
                    emergencies abroad in 2014                  professional and efficient visa service.
OUR PEOPLE                                                                                                                         19

The Emigrant Flame, Wexford                                       Group of senior Irish emigrants visiting Ireland

Emigrant Support                            Republic of Korea, which contribute to            As a generation of emigrants reach
                                            bilateral relations while offering short          the end of their working lives, it will
A key priority is immigration reform        term work rights to young Irish citizens.         be increasingly important to respond
in the United States, which has                                                               to their needs - particularly those of
been and will continue to be a              An improved arrangement for the                   more advanced age - through welfare
focus for Government. It will be            Working Holiday Visa programme with               and social network support and
important to maximise the benefit to        Canada has seen over 10,000 young                 assistance in accessing social services
undocumented Irish of the measures          Irish granted permission to work there            in the host country. More than €114
announced by President Barack Obama         in 2014.                                          million has been provided through
in November 2014. Further legislative                                                         the Emigrant Support Programme to
action in the US Congress will be           The embassy network has been                      Irish community projects worldwide
needed so as to ensure an eventual          expanded and augmented in the US,                 since 2004. This programme has been
resolution for all undocumented Irish       Asia and Australia and will need to be            sustained through the financial crisis
in the US as well as provision of a legal   kept under review in light of consular            and its reach extended to support a
path for future Irish immigration.          needs. This is supported by a network of          more diverse and widely dispersed
This would help ensure people-to-           over 100 Honorary Consuls worldwide               emigrant community. Most of this has
people ties between Ireland and             who provide a range of services in                gone to support the most vulnerable
the US continue to be renewed into          locations where we do not have an                 emigrants and this must remain
future generations.                         embassy or consulate. This network has            the case.
                                            been recently renewed and expanded,
Many new emigrants, including those         for example, to help address the needs            Funding support will need to be
who have left Ireland since 2008, are       of Irish citizens in Western Australia and        continuously reviewed to ensure it
going beyond traditional centres of         Canada. Our Honorary Consuls provide              meets these changing needs. Funding
emigration. Western Australia and           an excellent service, at minimum                  is being expanded to groups providing
Western Canada in particular have           cost to the taxpayer. The network has             services to Irish people recently arrived
seen increased numbers.                     tremendous potential which will need              in destinations such as Australia and
                                            to be progressively developed.                    Canada. Assistance is being directed
The Government is working to                                                                  to younger Irish people suffering from
address access issues and ensure            As our economy grows, many of our                 emotional, mental health and drug and
that Irish people who wish to pursue        younger emigrants will wish to return             alcohol misuse issues. New networks
opportunities abroad can do so, for         home. We need to provide economic                 are being supported, for example the
example, utilising the J1 programme         opportunities for them and we need to             Ireland Network groups in many US
with the United States and working          encourage them to bring their talents             cities, while stronger ties are being
holiday visa agreements with Australia,     and experience back to contribute to              created through business networks
Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and the       Irish life.                                       and education exchanges.
20                                                  OUR PEOPLE

Passport Services

As the number of people travelling has
increased, so has demand for passports.
The Passport Service delivered 629,446
passports in 2014. The total number
of passports issued has increased
by 10% over the last five years while
staff reductions of 10% have also
taken place.

This process has been accompanied by
significant gains in customer service.
The passport renewal process has been
simplified with an online passport                  The Cork Passport Office
renewal reminder service (
Waiting times have been reduced and
queues virtually eliminated. A facility
is available to track the application               The Passport Office in Cork
status with weekly updates on
performance against targets. New
arrangements have been put in place
to assist those required to travel
because of an emergency.

An award-winning new passport booklet was
introduced in 2013, combining the latest security
technology with imagery representing our culture,
history and people


                                                      people were registered
                                                       for Irish citizenship
                                                         by Foreign Birth
                                                               in 2014
OUR PEOPLE                                                                                                21

                                              The Irish passport has a high reputation worldwide, ranked
                                              in the top ten of passports whose citizens are least-affected
                                              by visa restrictions. An award-winning new passport booklet
                                              was introduced in 2013, incorporating security features
             629,446                          which offer advanced protections against fraud. These
             passports issued in 2014         features contribute to the safety of citizens when travelling
                                              and the ease with which they pass through immigration
                                              controls abroad.

                                              However, a programme of ongoing investment and

             UP 28%                           continued process improvement is required to combat
                                              increasingly sophisticated threats to the service and to
             since 2000
                                              mitigate risks of passport fraud. Tackling this challenge will
                                              require sustained effort and investment over the coming
                                              years, backed by ongoing efficiency gains.

             60,000                           The next phase of improvements should focus on enhancing
             more passports issued            the protections in the passport process while balancing
             in 2014 than 2009                this with the need to improve customer service to citizens,
                                              reducing the administrative burden for applicants and
                                              responding to a growing volume of telephone queries.

                                              In keeping with the Government commitment to e-services
             50%                              for citizens, a growing range of consular, passport
             issued April – July              and citizenship services should be provided online.
                                              All applications for Foreign Birth Registration and letters
                                              of freedom, which some countries require when Irish
                                              citizens are marrying abroad, are now submitted online.

             2012 & 2013                      An online register has been introduced for all documents
                                              officially authenticated (apostilled), bringing authentication
             busiest years in history of
                                              processes into line with best practice.
             Passport Service

                                              In short, we will need to be more flexible in how we design
                                              and deliver support and assistance to Irish people travelling,
             14%                              living and working abroad and returning to live and work
             of passports issued abroad       in Ireland.
             of passports issued in Ireland      @PassportIrl

             increase in number of
             passports issued with
             less staff

             lower costs
             since 2009
22                                                 OUR PEOPLE

Minister Deenihan with members of the Irish American Community at the Famine Memorial in Philadelphia © Tom Keenan

Connecting                                         culturally and intellectually, as well as
                                                   economically. Looking out, it is about
                                                                                                        The Global Irish Network, initiated
                                                                                                        in 2009, has provided a forum for
with the Global                                    mobilising the remarkable influence                  discussion of imaginative and

Irish Family                                       of the Irish nation, which is a legacy of
                                                   more than 200 years of emigration.
                                                                                                        influential new initiatives to deepen
                                                                                                        links across the diaspora.

The global Irish family is a resource
of incomparable benefit. The Irish
abroad contribute to all aspects of Irish
life, from culture and society, to the
sports field and the board room. The
influence they provide in the countries
where they live extends Ireland’s reach,
adding a unique dimension to our
relations with those countries.

Engagement with the Irish abroad is
a two-way process that reflects the
diverse interests and needs of the
Irish overseas, opening up the lines
of communication and connectivity
for the mutual benefit of Ireland
and the Irish abroad. Looking in, it
is about enriching Ireland, socially,              Team Japan at the Asian Gaelic Games, Kuala Lumpur, 2014.
OUR PEOPLE                                                                                                                             23

                                                                                                    My Job

                                                                                                    Ralph Victory
                                                                                                    Press and Immigration Officer,
                                                                                                    Embassy Washington

                                                                                                    U.S. immigration reform to include
                                                                                                    relief for undocumented Irish
                                                                                                    migrants and improved channels
                                                                                                    for future legal migration between
                                                                                                    Ireland and America are major
                                                                                                    Government priorities and have
                                                                                                    been a primary focus of my job
                                                                                                    since my arrival in Washington D.C.
Recipients of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award 2013
                                                                                                    in 2011. I have engaged in extensive
                                                                                                    networking and relationship-
President Michael D. Higgins, building                  diaspora, facilitated by initiatives such
                                                                                                    building with key Congressional
on the work of President McAleese                       as The Gathering in 2013 and Ireland
                                                                                                    and Administration officials and
and President Robinson, has assumed                     Reaching Out.
                                                                                                    worked closely with the wider Irish-
a leading role in reaching out to
                                                                                                    American community, particularly
emigrant communities and deepening                      How the Government interacts with
                                                                                                    in support of high-level outreach
connections at the highest level.                       the Irish abroad and the structures
                                                                                                    by the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister
                                                        available to manage this important
                                                                                                    for Foreign Affairs and Trade and
The introduction of the Presidential                    relationship must continue to evolve
                                                                                                    Oireachtas delegations and by
Distinguished Service Award for the                     to match the needs of this ever-
                                                                                                    the Ambassador.
Irish Abroad recognises outstanding                     changing diaspora.
achievement by Irish people overseas.                                                               Immigration reform is a challenging
A Certificate of Irish Heritage now                                                                 topic but it’s been great to work
provides official recognition of the                                                                towards helping the undocumented
descendents of previous generations                                                                 and enhancing future Ireland‑US
of Irish emigrants.                                                                                 ties through improved

                                                                                                    immigration arrangements.
                                                                     An estimated
Jimmy Deenihan TD was appointed
Ireland’s first dedicated Minister
for Diaspora Affairs in 2014 in a
commitment to further deepening
Government engagement with                                            million people
our diaspora.                                                       worldwide claim
                                                                  Irish descent, half of
Irish communities – at home and
                                                                    whom are in the
abroad – are taking the lead in
building their own networks across the
                                                                      United States
24                                                     OUR PEOPLE

Ireland’s 2013 EU Presidency launch at Dublin Castle

The public consultation on Ireland’s                   the Irish abroad played in the struggle   home also represent a valuable
diaspora policy will help guide the                    for independence and in the process       link between Ireland and their
further development of policy. This has                of national reconciliation, with events   home countries.
revealed diverse responses, but two clear              planned in several centres.
themes have emerged. First, the Irish                                                            Increasing globalisation challenges us
abroad wish to have their voices heard                 More should also be done to develop the   to rethink what constitutes the Global
at home. Second, they wish to remain                   connections between the diaspora and      Irish Family. In addition to emigrants
connected with Ireland, and they see a                 local communities in Ireland, building    and their descendants, there are those
role for the Government in this.                       on the success of The Gathering.          who are not Irish by birth or ancestry
                                                                                                 but who have found an affinity with
The Constitutional Convention has                      Ongoing efforts are needed to             Ireland, whether through time spent
recommended extending voting rights                    encourage the third and fourth-           here for work or study, through tourism
in Presidential elections to citizens                  generation Irish to retain a sense of     or through contact with the Irish
who are resident outside of the State.                 their heritage.                           abroad or through the attraction of
This recommendation is currently                                                                 Irish culture.
being examined.                                        Our new citizens are a bridge between
                                                       Ireland and their countries of origin.    Engagement with these affinity
Advances in technology make it more                    Many are opting to become citizens of     networks should be deepened.
possible and more necessary than                       Ireland, bringing their talents, energy
ever to facilitate and maintain close                  and experience to bear in the life of
ongoing connections from afar. This                    our nation.
potential has yet to be fully harnessed.
                                                       The growing number of people who
The commemorations programme                           have spent time living, studying and
offers an immediate opportunity to                     working in Ireland and then returned
collaborate and to mark the role that
OUR PEOPLE                                                                                                                     25

Sharing our Culture                           We are known for our sporting
                                              enthusiasm as a nation, and our
                                                                                         gaming. In the immediate future, the
                                                                                         embassy network will work closely
                                              fans are as celebrated and welcomed        with Culture Ireland and the Design
Some of the strongest affinities are
                                              abroad as our accomplishments on the       and Crafts Council to bring events
those created through culture and sport.
                                              pitch, track and field. Gaelic games are   such as Yeats 2015 and the Year of
                                              reaching an international audience,        Irish Design 2015 to the attention
The arts, culture and creative sectors
                                              and over 400 GAA clubs abroad are          of audiences worldwide. Ireland’s
in Ireland are a dynamic and growing
                                              raising awareness of Ireland and           embassies and consulates are also
pillar of our economy, employing
                                              building relationships across the globe    helping to develop and support a
around 170,000 people. Irish culture
                                              through initiatives such as the Asian      vibrant international dimension to the
is a global commons, recognised and
                                              Gaelic Games. The GAA also provides        Decade of Commemorations, including
followed by people who may have
                                              a valuable social and support network      a festival of Irish culture at the Kennedy
no other connection to Ireland. Our
                                              for many Irish people living and           Center in Washington DC in 2016
music; our literature; tours by Irish
                                              working abroad.                            entitled “Proclaiming Ireland”.
theatre and dance companies; film,
television and animation produced
                                              The Department of Foreign Affairs and      Through cultural diplomacy, the
or set in Ireland; our international
                                              Trade provides support to Irish Studies    relationship we have built with
festivals; and the achievements of our
                                              programmes at universities worldwide,      our diaspora communities and the
sportswomen and men; all introduce
                                              while the Department of Arts, Heritage     partnerships we have forged around
Ireland to a global audience, beginning
                                              and the Gaeltacht is supporting the        the globe can only be strengthened.
conversations and relationships that
                                              development of Irish language courses
can enhance our profile and image,
                                              in third-level institutions overseas.
cement friendships and support jobs,
                                              Irish Studies, Celtic Studies and Irish
trade, tourism and investment.
                                              language programmes are being
                                              provided at third-level institutions in
The Department of Foreign Affairs
                                              North America, Europe and further
and Trade works closely with Culture
                                              afield. Through Global Gaeilge, Foras
Ireland in promoting Irish arts
                                              na Gaeilge and the Department of
worldwide, supporting Irish artists
                                              Foreign Affairs and Trade support those
and companies to present their work
                                              with an interest in the Irish language
abroad, while our schools, colleges and
                                              around the world.
universities also play an important role
in our cultural engagement overseas.
                                              Ireland has well recognised strengths
                                              and an international reputation for         Case Study
                                              design and creativity, for example          Chinese New Year, Beijing
                                              in the fields of fashion, media and
                                                                                          Ireland was ‘Country of Honour’ at
                                                                                          Beijing’s Chaoyang International
                                                                                          Spring Carnival in February 2013. A
                                                                                          highlight of Beijing’s Chinese New
                                                                                          Year celebrations, the festival was
                                                                                          attended by 380,000 people.

                                                                                          Organised by the embassy in
                                                                                          Beijing, the festival was a prime
                                                                                          opportunity to boost Ireland’s
                                                                                          profile in the Chinese capital,
                                                                                          featuring four Irish cultural
                                                                                          performances a day, and strong
                                                                                          Irish branding. The embassy
                                                                                          secured significant TV, print and
                                                                                          online media coverage of Ireland.
Irish music group Anúna touring Scandinavia
Our Values
OUR VALUES                                                                                                                27

Irish peacekeepers at a community event in Tibnin, Lebanon. Photo: Pasqual Gorriz / UN Photo

        rticle 29 of the Constitution                 Supporting greater peace, security and
        sets out the principles that                  development is also in our interest as
        guide Ireland’s conduct of its                a small country with an open economy
international relations: the ideals                   in an ever more interconnected and
                                                                                                Our Signature
of peace and friendly cooperation                     uncertain world.                          Foreign Policies
amongst nations, founded on
international justice and morality;                   Our ability to shape the world
adherence to the principle of the                     according to our values is defined
pacific settlement of international                   by our membership of the European
disputes by international arbitration                 Union, our participation in the United
or judicial determination; and the                    Nations, and our partnerships with like
principles of international law as our                minded countries and other actors.
rule of conduct in our relations with
other states.                                         The United Nations has been a
                                                      cornerstone of our global engagement
Our foreign policy is deeply anchored in              since 1955. The principles and values
the values set out in our Constitution.               enshrined in the UN Charter are those
These are reflected also in the Charter               we have always striven to promote
                                                                                                         Poverty and Hunger
of the United Nations, the Universal                  and protect and we engage across the
Declaration of Human Rights and in                    breadth of UN activities in pursuit
the principles which underpin the                     of our goals. We have been a strong
European Union.                                       supporter of the multilateral system
                                                                                                         Human Rights
                                                      of collective security represented by
These values are under pressure. New                  the UN and of the primary role of the
actors have emerged with competing                    Security Council in the maintenance of             Promoting
visions of society. Global institutions are           international peace and security.                  Disarmament
struggling to respond to conflicts and
humanitarian crises in Libya, Syria, the              Ireland has been one of the strongest
Middle East and Ukraine; to the stresses              and most consistent supporters of the              Committed to UN
of an interdependent global economy;                  three pillars of the UN’s work: peace              Peacekeeping
and to poverty and underdevelopment.                  and security, development and human
There is as yet no consensus on how                   rights, having served three times as
to deal with some new and emerging                    a non-permanent member of the                      Sharing our
threats such as cyber-security while                  Security Council and provided strong               experience of peace
the non-proliferation regime is also                  and principled leadership on issues                and reconciliation on
under pressure.                                       such as disarmament, human rights,                 the island of Ireland
                                                      development and the search for peace
                                                      in the Middle East.
28                                       OUR VALUES

UN General Assembly

A Secure World                           leadership, we will seek election to the
                                         Security Council again for the period
                                                                                    East. The Departments of Defence and
                                                                                    Foreign Affairs and Trade work closely
                                         2021-22.                                   to ensure our approach to international
As the institution with primary
                                                                                    peace and security remains effective
responsibility for the maintenance of
                                         In line with this approach, Ireland has    and responsive to the evolving
international peace and security, the
                                         taken seriously its obligations under      international security environment.
UN Security Council must be equipped
                                         the UN Charter to make available to
to respond more effectively to the
                                         the Security Council armed forces,         In recent years, one of the most
changing array of security threats as
                                         assistance and facilities in order to      significant changes in UN efforts to
they emerge, in a way that commands
                                         contribute to the maintenance of           maintain international peace and
respect and broad consensus and
                                         international peace and security.          security has been the mandating of
recognises the new realities that
                                                                                    regional organisations such as the EU,
confront us.
                                         For over five decades, Irish men and       the African Union and NATO, by the UN,
                                         women have participated continuously       to manage operations on its behalf and
Ireland has taken a lead role in
                                         and with great distinction in UN           under its authority. The UN Secretary
efforts to improve the working
                                         peacekeeping missions in Europe,           General has called on the EU and other
methods of the Council, favouring
                                         Asia, Africa, Central America and the      organisations to play a greater role
a more representative Council
                                         Middle East. Since our first deployment    in meeting the growing demand for
that more closely reflects regional
                                         in 1958, eighty-six members of the         peacekeeping.
balances, population and economic
                                         Defence Forces have made the
weight, while preserving the right
                                         ultimate sacrifice while serving on        Ireland advocates a strong EU
of smaller UN members to serve at
                                         peacekeeping missions.                     contribution to UN peacekeeping.
frequent intervals.
                                                                                    The EU’s Common Security and
                                         Our participation in peacekeeping has      Defence Policy (CSDP) provides the
We are respected at the United
                                         evolved pragmatically in response to       operational capacity to undertake crisis
Nations as an active, constructive and
                                         changes in the international security      management operations outside the
independent-minded member. As
                                         environment and must continue to do        EU, in accordance with the principles
part of our commitment to providing
                                         so. The majority of our peacekeepers       of the UN Charter. The CSDP is oriented
                                         are deployed on missions in the Middle     towards the external challenges of
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