Question to Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mr Eamonn Gilmore, TD)
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of Irish embassies and diplomatic missions in use; the number of staff assigned to each mission; the costs of operating same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 5th November, 2013.
Ireland’s diplomatic network includes 56 Embassies, 7 multilateral missions and 10 Consulates General and other offices. In addition to their country of residence, many Ambassadors are also accredited to additional countries on a concurrent basis which enhances the cost-effectiveness of our external representation.
Our missions abroad work very closely with the state agencies in the promotion of exports, tourism and inward investment. They perform also a wide range of functions in support of Ireland’s foreign policy interests. These include representing and advancing government policies with other states and in international organisations, in particular the EU and the UN; economic, trade and cultural promotion; frontline consular and passport services to citizens overseas; engaging with and supporting Irish communities, and managing Ireland’s overseas development programmes in Ireland’s key partner countries.
The figures provided in the table below for our overseas missions include both Vote 28 – Foreign Affairs and Trade and Vote 27 – International Cooperation. The effective implementation of the aid programme necessarily entails additional management and oversight costs which are included in the figures provided. In addition to 25 locally recruited core staff, in the region of 180 locally-employed staff are engaged on the development cooperation side to meet technical requirements in specific programme areas. The numbers of such staff in each mission at any time varies in accordance with programme requirements.
The above table does not include Consulates headed by Honorary Consuls, the staff of which are not employees of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
*Full Time Equivalent – this number takes account of officers on work-sharing arrangements.