Foreword by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charles Flanagan T.D.
As Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this review of my Department's activities in 2015.
In January, we launched The Global Island, a forward-looking foreign policy review, setting out our vision for Ireland's place in the world, across five priority areas: Our People, Our Values, Our Prosperity, Our Place in Europe, and Our Influence.
With sights firmly set on the future, we worked to deliver the Fresh Start Agreement in Northern Ireland, further consolidating hard won peace for the island of Ireland.
We launched a new Passport Card for Irish citizens as part of our ongoing citizen-centred innovation agenda. In the Department’s Dublin headquarters and in or Missions around the world, we continued our consular work around the world, responding to crises and incidents in places ranging from Berkeley and Tunisia to Nepal and Paris as well as responding to over [2000 / 1500] individual cases.
We celebrated 60 years of Ireland's membership of the UN, welcoming Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and former Secretary General Kofi Annan to Iveagh House.
We joined with our EU partners in responding to new migration challenges, with our Embassies supporting the work of the Naval Service in the Mediterranean, and through Irish-Aid led financial support.
Our Embassies and Consulates abroad continued to support the expansion of Irish business overseas, providing guidance, opening doors and bringing key stakeholders together.
I thank all the staff of the Department for their hard work and public service.