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Minister Flanagan Launches Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report 2015

Minister Charles Flanagan, Consular, Culture, Disarmament, Funding, International Relations, Irish Aid, Irish Abroad, Northern Ireland Peace Process, Passports, Trade, Travel, United Nations, Press Releases, Ireland, 2016

 

Minister Flanagan Launches Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report 2015

 - Key Achievements Highlighted in Innovative Digital Format

 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan T.D., has today launched his Department’s Annual Report for 2015. The Report illustrates how the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ireland’s diplomatic missions abroad worked throughout last year to support Irish citizens at home and abroad and to pursue Ireland’s strategic foreign policy interests.

For the first time the Report is entirely digital in format, consisting of an interactive visual presentation (https://www.dfa.ie/2015annualreport/) and a dedicated section of the Department’s website (https://www.dfa.ie/annualreport/2015/).

Commenting on the Report’s publication, Minister Flanagan stated:

“In 2015 my Department and I were directly engaged in the separate visits made to Ireland by the Prime Ministers of China and India and by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the launch of the new Irish Passport Card, the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s UN membership, the Global Irish Civic Forum and Global Irish Economic Forum and the Fresh Start Agreement in Northern Ireland.

We also helped to promote 2015 as the Year of Irish Design, brokered agreement on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, convened an Irish Humanitarian Summit, completed Ireland’s first term on the UN Human Rights Council and made an important contribution towards helping to end the Ebola virus outbreak in Sierra Leone.

By any measure these and other areas of our work as outlined in the Report were significant achievements. I am grateful to all the staff of the Department and in our diplomatic missions abroad for their dedication and public service.

Together we are continuing to build on last year’s progress so that the interests of Ireland and our fellow citizens can continue to be upheld and advanced at all levels.”

The Annual Report’s structure follows that of ‘The Global Island’ review of Ireland's foreign policy as published in 2015 with key themes highlighting Our People, Our Values, Our Prosperity, Our Place in Europe and Our Influence. The Report also features profiles of a number of DFAT staff, as well as a summary of the Department’s financial accounts for 2015 and statistical information on the Department’s work in the areas of consular assistance, passports, St. Patrick’s Day 2015, Irish Aid and web and digital media, including social media.

Some key events from 2015 included:

  • The Department and Ireland’s diplomatic missions provided a range of consular services to over 60,000 Irish people and businesses and almost 1600 people who were involved in serious consular situations;
  • Our Emergency Response Team helped over 800 Irish people who became caught up in 7 major crises that occurred throughout 2015 – terrorist attacks in Paris in January and November, earthquakes in Nepal, the Germanwings air crash, the Berkeley tragedy and the June terrorist attack in Tunisia;
  • The Department issued 672,769 passports in 2015, up 6.4% on 2014;
  • 13,358 people applied for the new Irish Passport Card launched by Minister Flanagan last October;
  • Ireland’s diplomatic missions abroad organised or hosted almost 400 St. Patrick’s Day 2015 events, while Irish exports, tourism, education and inward investment were promoted during Government-level visits to 70 cities in 26 countries;
  • The Government provided almost €650 million in Official Development Assistance to some of the world’s poorest nations;
  • Ireland’s humanitarian Rapid Response Initiative helped victims of flooding in Malawi and earthquakes in Nepal, as well as refugees from Syria, South Sudan and Nigeria;
  • Visitors to our websites increased by over 40% from 4.1 million in 2014 to 5.8 million during 2015.

The Report’s innovative digital format is intended to make the work of the Department and Ireland’s diplomatic missions abroad more accessible to our audiences. The approach also reflects the Government’s Public Service ICT Strategy and Civil Service Renewal Plan.

The Annual Report is available in both Irish and English language versions.

ENDS
Press Office
27 October 2016