Foreign Affairs Committee to hear expert insights into Department policy review

January 15th, 2014 - Pat Breen

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade meets twice this week to consider the recently launched Review of Foreign Policy and External Relations by the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Later today, it meets with former senior diplomat Noel Dorr and Prof Ben Tonra of UCD, while tomorrow it will hear from Denis Staunton of the Irish Times and Graham Butler of the University of Copenhagen.
The Review sets out to ensure Ireland gains maximum benefit from the resources it commits to international engagement in a rapidly-changing world.

Chairman of the Committee Pat Breen TD says: “The Foreign Affairs Policy Review, launched by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore TD in October, is a significant initiative to optimise Ireland’s foreign policy for an ever more globalised and interconnected world. With a changing international environment, it is important to take stock and ensure that the Government is equipped with the right mix of policies and instruments to protect and promote Ireland’s interests and values in the years ahead.”

“Noel Dorr enjoyed a distinguished career in the Department of Foreign Affairs, serving as Ireland’s Ambassador to the United Nations and Ambassador in London in the 1980s and rising to the post of Secretary General. Prof Ben Tonra is Jean Monnet Professor ad personam of European Foreign, Security and Defence Policy in UCD, where he teaches, researches and publishes in European foreign, security and defence policy, Irish foreign and security policy and International Relations theory. At tomorrow’s session, we will have an opportunity to hear from veteran foreign journalist Denis Staunton, who is Deputy Editor with the Irish Times, as well as Graham Butler, a PhD fellow at Copenhagen University. The Committee looks forward to engaging with these authoritative voices on how they believe Irish foreign policy should be shaped into the future.”

The first meeting takes place at 4 pm this afternoon Wednesday 15 January in Committee Room 1, LH 2000, while the tomorrow’s meeting takes place in Committee Room 3, LH 2000. Both meetings can be viewed online here: http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/watchlisten/