The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, met with New Zealand Foreign Minister, the Honourable Murray McCully at Iveagh House for talks today.
At the meeting the Ministers discussed the opportunities and challenges that have arisen as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
The Ministers also spoke about Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and exchanged national rugby jerseys.
“The Irish bid team regularly refer to New Zealand’s hosting of the World Cup in 2011 as the inspiration for the Irish bid. That tournament was a remarkable success and demonstrated that a country similar in size to Ireland could successfully host this event.”
As Ireland prepares to campaign for a place on the UN Security Council 2020, the Ministers held a useful exchange on New Zealand’s experience as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2015 and 2016. Minister Flanagan commented:
“Learning from the experiences of a small like-minded state such as New Zealand is very useful to us and is an example of our close cooperation on international issues. I would like to congratulate Minister McCully on New Zealand’s consistent and principled approach as a Security Council member and the significant progress New Zealand made on issues such as tackling the root causes of conflict.”
Minister Flanagan also spoke about the Irish and New Zealand diaspora, noting the key role played by diaspora from both countries.
“There are over 600,000 New Zealanders who can trace their heritage back to Ireland out of a total population of 4.7 million, while nearly 30,000 Irish citizens have spent time working in New Zealand in the last decade alone, including significant numbers of Irish construction workers who contributed to the reconstruction effort since the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
Developments on the proposed EU – New Zealand Free Trade Agreement were discussed as well as bilateral trade opportunities, where there is much potential to be realised. The Ministers also exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East, the ongoing migration crisis and developments in the Asia Pacific region.
| A MerrionStreet release | January 11, 2017 |