On the recommendation of the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, the Government yesterday approved a number of Ambassadorial nominations, subject to agreement by the receiving States.
The decision yesterday and an earlier decision by Government in February represent a significant re-shuffle of Ambassadors and Consuls General to take place this summer.
This involves the rotation of nineteen Ambassadorial and six Consul General positions. Included in this are appointments to Consulates General in Frankfurt and Los Angeles to be opened later this year.
The decisions come in the context of the Global Ireland initiative, which aims to double our impact internationally and includes a commitment to open twenty-five new missions by 2025.
So far in 2019, four new Embassies, in Colombia, Chile, Jordan and Liberia, and two new Consulates General, in Cardiff and Mumbai, were opened. An Embassy was opened in New Zealand and a Consulate General in Vancouver in 2018.
Following the establishment of new Embassies and Consulates under the Global Ireland initiative, Ireland now has a network of 88 missions overseas. The decisions and nominations announced yesterday involve more than a quarter of the network and it represents a significant re-organisation and renewal.
The Tánaiste and Minister of Foreign Affairs commented:
“We are facing a period of unprecedented fluidity and challenge in the months and years ahead. More than ever we need our diplomatic network to analyse, engage and influence and we need experienced officers in place around the world to pursue our interests and promote our values. I am confident that with these changes to the network we will be well positioned to meet the challenges ahead. The changes in Europe will be important as we continue to protect our strategic interests in the negotiation process for the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union and support the diversification of trade within the Eurozone and beyond.
“I am confident that the officers nominated have the experience and qualities to be very effective in advancing Ireland’s interests and values at this important time. Ten of the nominees to these senior roles are women and I want to see continued progress towards gender equality to ensure that our representatives abroad reflect who we are as a nation. Some of the changes involve the return of experienced officers to headquarters which will also be invaluable at this time.
“I wish all officers the very best as they take up their new roles. Finally, a number of Ambassadors and officials at HQ are retiring in the coming months and I want to take the opportunity to thank them for their service and wish them and their families all the best for the future.”