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Minister Coveney opens DFA Heads of Mission Conference

Today Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney T.D. opened a three-day Conference for the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Ambassadors, Consuls General, and other senior officials from headquarters and missions abroad.

The Conference is the first in-person gathering of senior management since the onset of COVID-19, and takes place against the backdrop of a devastating war in Ukraine.

Addressing the senior management team, Minister Coveney underlined the seisimic impact of global events since the last Head of Mission Conference in 2020:

"In missions big and small, at home and abroad, the Department has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure essential services were provided for Irish citizens in need. Indeed, the pandemic saw the largest ever consular operation undertaken by Ireland, with the repatriation of thousands of our citizens from around the world.  It was yet another demonstration of the remarkable service provided by our Consular teams across the globe. Despite the disruptions caused by Covid-19, Irish interests and values were consistently defended and promoted in every multilateral organisation and bilateral capital in which Ireland is present.

These past number of years have been tumultuous in terms of the challenges posed first of all by the pandemic, and now by war on our continent. We have been faced with unprecedented socio-economic, political and security shocks. My hope is that the Conference this week will allow us to reflect on how Ireland tackles these multi-dimensional challenges and how our foreign and security policy can adapt and respond to the challenges that lie ahead."

Days one and two of the Conference are internal departmental consultations which will provide a critical opportunity for staff to discuss topics as diverse as the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the outworkings of Brexit, developments in Northern Ireland, the operation of Ireland’s aid programme, and the delivery of key services to Irish citizens including passports and consular support.

On the third day of the Conference, DFA management will be joined by leaders from across Irish life – Government, business, academic, cultural, community and civil society sectors – for the 2022 Global Ireland Summit. The theme of the Summit is ‘Ireland Reconnecting’, and will be an expert-led exploration of how Ireland reconnects with the world, delivering on the Global Ireland ambition, with a particular focus on multilateralism, against the backdrop of the current global challenges.



Notes to Editors

In addition to this event being an ‘in-person’ gathering, the Global Ireland Summit will also be live-streamed on from 09.00am GMT on 12 April 2022.

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