Ireland has been an ILO member State since 1923 and is a long-standing partner in the promotion of the Decent Work Agenda. It has ratified 73 ILO Conventions and three Protocols, including all eight fundamental and three priority conventions. The government is currently in the process of preparing for the ratification of Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930. Its last ratification was the Domestic Workers Convention in August 2014. In addition to its Regular Budget assessed contributions made by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI), the Government of Ireland, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is a major contributor to the ILO development cooperation programme.

Ireland's strategic contributions to the ILO 

Ireland funds the ILO through:

  • Assessed contributions to the ILO's Regular Budget paid by all ILO member States by virtue of their membership. From 2016 to 2019, Ireland contributed US$ 5.2 million.
  • Voluntary, non-core funding contributionearmarked for priority themes and projects. From 2016 to 2019, Ireland contributed US$ 7.9 million.
Ireland's financial contributions to the ILO, 2016-2019 (US$ 13 million)

Ireland’s support to ILO interventions

Ireland’s development cooperation priorities

Ireland’s policy for international development ‘A Better World’ was published in 2019 and focuses on gender equality, climate action, good governance and combatting poverty. This policy serves to enhance Ireland’s role in dealing with global challenges, and build on the strong reputation that Ireland has gained in international development since it launched its first programme in 1974.

It builds on Global Ireland, the Government’s initiative to double the scope and impact of Ireland’s global footprint in the period to 2025. Global Ireland is the most ambitious renewal and expansion of Ireland’s international presence ever undertaken in terms of diplomacy, culture, business, overseas Ireland donor page priorities aid, tourism and trade.

The new policy prioritises making progress towards the UN target of allocating 0.7 percent GNI to Official Development Assistance by 2030, as economic circumstances permit.

Ireland’s development cooperation priority countries

Ireland has nine partner countries, eight of them in Sub-Saharan Africa and one in Southeast Asia: Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Sierra Leone and Viet Nam. It has also had an ongoing development programme in South Africa since 1994 in support of the country’s transition from apartheid to democracy and works with a number of partners to support peace, stability and development in Timor Leste. Ireland also prioritises support to a small numbers of conflict-affected countries and fragile contexts.