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Tánaiste outlines Global Ireland plans for 2019

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., today outlined the Government’s ‘Global Ireland’ 2019 plans, the ‘all-of-Government’ programme which aims to double Irelands impact in the world by 2025. The programme was launched by the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, and Ministers of Enterprise, and Culture in June 2018. ‘Global Ireland’ sets Irelands global footprint into three broad areas, namely, how we trade, the bilateral and multilateral partnerships we build, and our wider contribution to the world.  

Speaking today, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said of Global Ireland:

“While cognisant of the immense challenges our country faces with Brexit, it is critical that we plan for our future, and embrace the enormous opportunities for Ireland all over the World. ‘Global Ireland’ is the most ambitious international programme since the foundation of the State, and it sets out a vision to double Ireland’s global footprint by 2025. Huge work is already underway, and we will build new partnerships with countries where we do not have official representation, and deepen our existing partnerships, by opening new Embassies and strengthening our current network. We will strengthen the way Ireland’s Embassies, and our key economic, trade, and scientific Agencies work together to deliver ‘Global Ireland’. We will aim to double our impact by 2025, while also taking our responsibilities as a global citizen very seriously, building our development aid programme, promoting our unique Irish culture and our values, proactively connecting with our 70m diaspora, and continuing to be a world leader in UN Peacekeeping”.


A New Strategic Approach

In 2019 the Government will publish and drive implementation of a series of key strategies which will map out how Ireland will deliver on the aspirations of the ‘Global Ireland’ programme, namely:

  • Asia Pacific Strategy
  • North America & Canada Strategy
  • Central & South America Strategy
  • A new policy for international Development
  • A new Diaspora Strategy


Growing our Embassy Footprint

Ireland will open 26 new Embassies or Consulates as part of ‘Global Ireland’ by 2025, and will strengthen the existing network of 80 missions around the world. By the end of 2019 Ireland will have opened the following new missions:

  1. Vancouver (completed)
  2. Wellington (completed)
  3. Monrovia (completed)
  4. Mumbai (Q1, 2019)
  5. Bogotá (Q1, 2019)
  6. Santiago de Chile (Q1, 2019)
  7. Amman (Q1, 2019)
  8. Cardiff (Q2, 2019)
  9. LA (Q4, 2019)
  10. Frankfurt (Q4, 2019)

And planning will be completed for a further three openings which will take place in 2020:

  1. Kiev (Q4, 2020),
  2. Manila (Q4, 2020)
  3. Rabat (Q4, 2020)

In addition to the new missions, Ireland will work to deepen our relationships with the key multilateral institutions of the European Union and the United Nations. A key component of ‘Global Ireland’, and a demonstration of Ireland’s values of peace, humanitarian action, equality and justice is our campaign for election to the UN Security Council in 2021/’22, and 2019 will be a critical year for the campaign.


Delivering on the new ‘Ireland House’ concept

A central theme of ‘Global Ireland’ is the need for all component parts of the State, which have an international role to work collaboratively as ‘Team Ireland’ around the world. A major enabler of this will be the implementation of the new ‘Ireland House’ concept, which will promote a strong, coherent, and consistent presentation of Ireland on the international stage. 2019 will see the commencement of the first Ireland House project, in Tokyo, with an international architecture competition being launched in January.  The Ireland House model will then be rolled out to key locations in the diplomatic network.


Building Ireland’s Visibility & Reputation

In order to double our impact, it is essential that we build upon Ireland’s reputation and significantly raise our visibility, especially in new and emerging markets in Asia where the traditional Irish Diaspora footprint is not as deep. In 2019, a new joined up, cross Government, international communications strategy to position Ireland as a great place to live, work, visit, invest, study, and do business will be developed. At the heart of this drive to enhance Ireland’s visibility and reputation will be a strong focus on digital communications, and a new, ‘Ireland House in the cloud’, will be rolled out for St Patricks Day 2019. In addition, Ireland will have a specific focus on major international events, and an example of this will be the Irish presence at Expo 2020, for which planning has already commenced. Culture is central to Ireland’s reputation, and a new post of ‘Cultural Director’ will be created in 2019 to co-ordinate the international cultural programme across the Embassy network.


Team Ireland: We do better when we work together

Enabling all the various elements of the State to collaborate closely overseas is central to delivering on the objectives of Global Ireland. In 2019, each country in which Ireland has a diplomatic presence will complete a comprehensive, joined-up, country plan outlining all of the activities and plans for Ireland there.

A special conference, entitled “Global Ireland – Making it Happen” is being convened in Dublin Castle, on 7 and 8 January, where all of Ireland’s diplomatic Heads of Mission are being invited to dialogue and discuss with Government Departments and Agencies to determine how ‘Global Ireland’ can best be put into action in 2019. This event will involve expert international speakers on Global Issues, including the international teams from the New Zealand and Swedish Governments who have been invited to share their experience.


Building Citizen Engagement

Engaging Irish citizens in the wider debate around Ireland’s place in the world is an important component of ‘Global Ireland’. In 2019, two specific initiatives will be undertaken to enable debate, discussion, and analysis of Ireland’s international role; ‘Global Schools’ and ‘Global Ireland 100’.


  1. Global Schools

The new ‘Global Schools’ programme will see Irish diplomats and peacekeepers visiting every secondary school in the country to engage students about the Global Ireland programme and the work of Ireland overseas. As part of the programme, each school will be presented with a UN flag and a copy of the preamble of the UN Charter. The Global Schools programme will allow for a greater understanding of how UN membership has played a significant role in Ireland’s foreign policy and actions - including our contributions to peacekeeping, international development, human rights and disarmament - and how we will continue to do so in the future. 

  1. Global Ireland 100

2019 will also mark the 100th anniversary of Irelands foreign service, where we ‘took our place among the nations of the world.’ To mark this milestone, a specially curated “Global Ireland 100” programme will be announced in early 2019 which will see a series of cultural and academic events will take place in Ireland and across our international network.

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