The Global Island Ireland's Foreign Policy for a Changing World - RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN
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The Global Island Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World RIALTAS NA hÉIREANN GOVERNMENT OF IRELAND
1 Foreword 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
2 Contents 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
3 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
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 A 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
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 Millions users today, two-thirds in developing countries. This growth is largely being 3000 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. 1500 Global economic development is lifting millions out of poverty, while 1000 increasing prosperity is changing consumption patterns, giving rise to 500 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
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.
8 EMBRACING A CHANGING WORLD AN AGEING WORLD, 2010–2030 6,000,000 834,814 5,000,000 424,614 4,000,000 0-59 years 0-59 years 2010 2030 60+ years 60+ years 3,000,000 2,000,000 103,158 54,981 162,063 212,883 119,676 1,000,000 58,579 104,590 64,615 0 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 Caribbean 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 THIS REVIEW CONSIDERS THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR IRELAND UNDER FIVE CLOSELY LINKED THEMES: 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.
10 80 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
11 State Agency 42 offices in locations
OUR PEOPLE 13 A 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 Partnership, Reconciliation 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, @dfatravel 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 SERVING OUR PEOPLE ABROAD • 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 Abroad Cooperation 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 SERVICES 800,000 consular, passport and visa queries handled annually by embassies and consulates My Job Sharifah Shahabudin 60,000 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 3,000 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 1,650 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 (www.dfa.ie). 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 Over 5,500 people were registered for Irish citizenship by Foreign Birth Registration in 2014
OUR PEOPLE 21 PASSPORTS 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. 86% of passports issued in Ireland @PassportIrl increase in number of passports issued with 10% less staff 6% 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 70 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 27 Irish peacekeepers at a community event in Tibnin, Lebanon. Photo: Pasqual Gorriz / UN Photo A 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 Combating 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 Advancing 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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