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Welcome to the official website of the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the OECD and UNESCO in France

Message from Ambassador Gerard Keown


Welcome to the website of Ireland’s Permanent Representation to the OECD and UNESCO in Paris.

Ireland has a long commitment to multilateralism and to engaging actively in global institutions to find common solutions to shared challenges. The work of the Permanent Representation (or Perm Rep for short) is very much in keeping with this tradition.

Ireland was among the founding members of the OECD in 1961. For a small country, the advantages of membership of such a focussed professional international organisation, with 38 members from Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific, are many. We have access to the highest quality policy analysis and recommendations and the opportunity to contribute along with other important partners in shaping the economic policy environment internationally.

Today, almost every Government Department in Ireland engages in the work of the OECD across a broad range of public policy issues, including economic policy and analysis, taxation, the environment and climate change; education; agriculture; social policy; gender equality, industry and entrepreneurship; development cooperation policy; trade; digitalisation; public governance; innovation and science and technology. The Perm Rep provides a whole-of-Government platform for advancing this engagement and promoting Ireland’s interests at the OECD.

The United Nations is a cornerstone of Irish foreign policy. Ireland became a member of UNESCO in 1961. We strongly support its mission to promote international understanding and cooperation in the fields of education, science and culture.  We are fortunate to enjoy a rich cultural heritage, which has been recognised by UNESCO. From the three World Heritage sites on the island of Ireland: Brú na Bóinne, Sceilg Mhicíl, and the Giant’s Causeway, to the inclusion of hurling, Irish harping and uileann pipes on the list of intangible cultural heritage , and the recognition of Dublin as a UNESCO City of Literature and Galway as a UNESCO City of Film. UNESCO is a valued partner in the cultural life of the island.

Ireland is also actively engaged in UNESCO’s work in support of educational opportunity, in particular in developing countries; in its work on promoting gender equality, diversity and inclusion; and its contribution to implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The Perm Rep team comprises staff from a number of Government Departments. Together, we are committed to supporting Ireland’s engagement in these two important multilateral organisations. I hope you enjoy reading about this engagement in our website. 


Gerard Keown

Ambassador and Permanent Representative