WATCH: Plan to double Ireland's global footprint is launched

It will see an emphasis on the US, the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions

WATCH: Plan to double Ireland's global footprint is launched

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (centre) launches the 'Global Ireland' plan with (left to right) Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan, Business Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee | Image via @campaignforleo on Twitter

The Government has unveiled a plan to renew and expand Ireland's international presence by 2025.

The 'Global Ireland' initiative will see new embassies for Chile, Colombia, New Zealand, Jordan, Ukraine, the Philippines and Morocco.

New consulates have been announced in Vancouver, Mumbai, Cardiff and Frankfurt.

A Diplomatic Mission is also to be established in the Republic of Liberia.

With the formal launch of the programme, the Government will implement a range of further measures.

This includes expanding and strengthening diplomatic and enterprise agency presences across Europe.

Irish arts, heritage and culture will also be promoted across the world.

It will see an enhanced digital footprint, through a global communications strategy to increase visibility, raise awareness and enhance Ireland's reputation.

A White Paper is also being published on the Irish Aid programme, which will re-affirm Ireland's commitment to delivering 0.7% of GNI to development assistance by 2030.

The Government says Irish values of peace, humanity, equality and justice will also be promoted - including through a campaign for election to the United Nations Security Council.

There will also be emphasis on strengthening the Irish presence in the United States.

This includes a new flagship 'Ireland House' - a hub for diplomacy, trade, business and cultural promotion - in Los Angeles, with the opening of a Consulate General.

Expansions are also planned in the Asia-Pacific region - with a new flagship 'Ireland House' in Tokyo - and in North and West Africa, the Middle East and Gulf region.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney were joined by a number of Government ministers on Monday to launch the plan in Dublin.

It represents the most ambitious renewal and expansion of Ireland's international presence ever undertaken in terms of diplomacy, culture, business, overseas aid, tourism and trade.

Mr Varadkar says: "Last summer, shortly after I became Taoiseach, I set-out an ambition to double our global footprint. The concept was a simple one: I wanted to double our impact by doing things differently, doing more, and doing it better.

"There is an urgency to this, and the reasons are self evident. Technological change is transforming lives and driving change in every corner of the world.

"Geopolitical and economic power is shifting south and east. The global trading environment is experiencing a period of turbulence and volatility. And closer to home, our nearest neighbour and largest trading partner is preparing to leave the European Union.

"The challenges we face demand comprehensive multilateral responses.

"It is the only way to make a significant difference on issues such as climate change, security, taxation in the new digital world and migration.

"We are at a moment in world history where we can turn inwards and become irrelevant, or we open ourselves to opportunities and possibilities on a global scale that we never had before.

"We grasp this opportunity to open ourselves to the world because we believe we have much to contribute. We have a role to play and this is our time."

Ireland’s diplomatic network overseas currently consists of almost 700 personnel assigned to 80 missions (61 embassies, 12 consulates and seven other missions - including Ireland’s permanent representation to the EU and the UN).

Their work is supported by a network of 94 honorary consuls in 59 countries.

The full 'Global Ireland' strategy can be accessed here