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Minister Charlie Flanagan convenes a meeting of Ireland’s Ambassadors to discuss Ireland’s recovery

Representing the Global Island
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Conference, 2015

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., will this week task Ireland’s Ambassadors with redoubling their efforts to support Irish businesses internationally as part of the Government’s drive to deepen our economic recovery and increase employment.

Minister Flanagan has convened a major three-day conference to bring together more than 90 Irish Ambassadors, Consuls General and senior diplomats with the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Government Ministers, as well as representatives of Irish companies, other Government departments , the State Agencies, third level institutions and the creative sectors.

In addition, EU High Representative, Ms Federica Mogherini will deliver a keynote address to the conference, following a meeting with Minister Flanagan at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, at which they will discuss major global issues including Ukraine, Syria and the Ebola crisis.

Other high level speakers include the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, Mary Robinson and the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Amina Mohammed.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Representing the Global Island, which opens in Dublin Castle today [Mon Jan 12] Minister Flanagan said:

“The 80 Department missions around the world maintain diplomatic relations on behalf of Ireland with 176 states. This network is critically important to our ongoing economic recovery. This conference provides an excellent opportunity for targeted discussions on how my Department can best deliver on the Government’s ambitious agenda in support of economic growth and prosperity and in protecting and promoting Ireland’s people and interests overseas.”

Over the course of the conference Ambassadors will meet directly with executives from more than 40 Irish companies to discuss the opportunities and challenges in international markets and how our embassies can help them to succeed.

Minister Flanagan said:

“The last time our Ambassadors met in such a forum was in 2011, when the Taoiseach tasked them with implementing the Government’s strategy to rebuild our international reputation. Ireland’s diplomats, in partnership with our colleagues across Government and in our State agencies, have worked hard to restore our reputation abroad, rebuild our economy and support Irish businesses.

“We are meeting this week at a time when Ireland is in a much stronger position: we have successfully exited the Troika programme; unemployment has fallen to 10.6% from a peak of 15.1% in February 2012 and our economy is growing strongly.

“Our focus now is on deepening the recovery and enabling companies to increase their exports and create jobs, including for those emigrants who wish to return. My Department is working to deliver on this Government priority by supporting Irish business to access international markets and promoting Ireland as a prime location for investment.

“I am determined to enhance the partnerships that exist between the Department and Irish business. This week we will hear from senior executives from Avolon, Glanbia and PM Group on how our missions can best support the continued growth of Irish companies.

“Representatives from all our third level institutes will join us to discuss future partnerships aimed at attracting more international students to study in Ireland. We will also be joined by key members of the arts, culture and creative industries to discuss how we can build on the long established links that have seen our embassies act as hubs to support this vibrant sector across the globe.”

Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North-South Cooperation, Sean Sherlock will host a networking event to give smaller Irish companies an opportunity to discuss their prospects for expansion with Ambassadors in key markets.

Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, will host a panel discussion on support to Irish emigrants, including how the Government can respond to their changing needs.

Minister for European Affairs and Data Protection Mr Dara Murphy, TD will host a discussion on The EU & Irish Business - Emerging Regulatory & Research Issues.

The UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Amina Mohammed will address the conferences on the crucial UN discussions to agree a new framework for international development after the UN Millennium Goals expire this year. Ireland was appointed by the UN Secretary General to co-facilitate these inter-governmental discussions.


Press Office
12 January 2015

Notes to the Editor

  • Ireland’s diplomatic network currently comprises of 61 Embassies, 7 multilateral missions and 12 Consulates General and other office. Through them, we maintain diplomatic relations with 176 states.
  • Our embassies’ work in support of Ireland’s foreign policy interests include:
  • Providing frontline consular and passport services to Irish citizens
  • Promoting investment in Ireland and supporting Irish businesses to expand overseas;
  • Promoting Ireland as a tourism destination and promoting Ireland’s culture abroad;
  • Representing and advancing Ireland’s policies and interests with other states and in international organisations, including the EU and the UN
  • Engaging with and supporting Irish communities abroad
  • Managing Ireland’s overseas development programmes in Ireland’s key partner countries.

We work closely with the State agencies to:

  • support trade missions and other trade-focussed high-level visits.
  • directly assist Irish companies with advice, introductions and working to resolve regulatory or market access issues, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland.
  • Promote Ireland as a source of high-quality exports, a destination for investment, research, study and tourism to targeted audiences and contacts
  • lobby, influence and negotiate for Ireland on issues that could impact our economic interests: whether that’s on trade policy, taxation issues, within Europe in terms of adjustments to the support programme and other crucial issues.

The event can also be followed on the official Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade account on Twitter at @dfatIRL (#GlobalIreland).