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Our Strategy and Guiding Principles

The mission of the Department of Foreign Affairs is to serve the Irish people, promote their values and advance their prosperity and interests abroad, and to provide the Government with the capabilities, analysis and influence to ensure that Ireland derives the maximum benefit from all areas of its external engagement.

The Department's Strategy Statement focuses on how we implement the commitments assigned to us in the Programme for Government: Our Shared Future and meet international challenges. We have identified five high-level goals to guide our work from 2021 to 2023 in our Statement of Strategy 2021-2023 which are outlined below.

The preparation of the Statement of Strategy was informed by the core foreign policy statements The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World  and A Better World: Ireland’s Policy for International Development and involved external consultation, including across Government and with the Oireachtas, as well as internal consultation with all staff in the Department.

Our People: To serve our people at home and abroad and to promote reconciliation and cooperation

We are committed to working with all communities and traditions on the island of Ireland to build consensus around a shared future. This consensus will be under-pinned by the Good Friday Agreement and by absolute respect for the principle of consent. We will work to protect the island of Ireland from the worst effects of Brexit, and as our inextricably linked histories of Ireland and Britain enter a new phase, we will endeavour to foster enhanced links between our states to protect and strengthen our bilateral relations. Delivering first class consular and passport services to our citizens is a central component of the Department's work. . Our global diaspora remain an integral part of the wider Irish family and the Department will continue to work with them in maintaining and deepening this vital relationship.

Our Europe: To advance Ireland's interests, influence and values in our shared Europe

Our engagement with the EU remains central to Ireland's foreign policy. We look up and out at the world from the solid foundation of our common European home. As a committed member of the European Union, we will work with our European colleagues to help each other during this time of crisis, and as we rebuild our economies. The EU’s founding values of peace, solidarity, greater cooperation, free movement, free trade and democracy are needed today more than ever, particularly as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. 

We will work to ensure that Ireland makes a strong contribution to the EU's global engagement and to the promotion of peace and security in Europe.

Our Values: To work for a fairer, just, secure and sustainable world

The Department aims to promote Ireland's values in all areas of its work. Through our development cooperation work and our engagement in multilateral fora we aim to make further progress in eradicating poverty and hunger, promoting inclusive economic growth, and promoting and protecting human rights internationally. We will provide support for those countries that are poorest and most vulnerable to climate shocks and ensure that climate change is included as a core theme in strategy development where Ireland has a significant development cooperation programme including Small Island Developing States.

Membership of the UN is a cornerstone of Ireland’s foreign policy. At a time of ever-more complex global threats, which have no international boundaries, such as climate change and pandemics, only coordinated international action and collaboration will bring about solutions.  . As we take up our seat on the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 session, we will play a constructive role through our commitment to peacebuilding, human rights, disarmament, sustainable development and a rules-based international environment.

Our Prosperity: To advance Ireland's prosperity by extending our influence and promoting our interests internationally

Promoting our economic growth remains a key priority for the government. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade plays a leading role in fostering the international dimension of Ireland's economic growth, in close cooperation with the State Agencies, Irish business and the Global Irish Network.

Our network of diplomatic missions is actively promoting Ireland as open for business and a destination for inward investment. We build and maintain strong bilateral relations to promote our economic interests abroad, helping us contribute to job creation, the identification of opportunities for exports, and the promotion of tourism and education in Ireland. Our missions also ensure that accurate information about the benefits of doing business in Ireland is communicated to key international decision makers and opinion formers.

The Department also promotes Ireland through the delivery of a strong programme of cultural engagement through our Missions abroad- we aim to deliver 300 such events each year.

Our Effectiveness: To strengthen our effectiveness and capacity to deliver on our goals

The Department upholds the highest ethos of public service. We aim to be an open and accountable Department, with a professional and capable workforce in a positive working environment, which delivers best practice in governance, is responsible to national and global changes and challenges, and provides a unified service to the Government and Irish Citizens.

Rather than looking at our high-level goals in isolation, we recognise - as clearly stated in The Global Island - that they are intertwined and support one another. The work of every individual in this department is linked to the delivery of these goals. Further information can be found in the Statement of Strategy.

For more Information

Read our Statement of Strategy 2021-2023.

Léigh ár Ráiteas Straitéise 2021-2023.