The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, will today host the first Ireland-Wales Forum to be held in Cardiff with Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney T.D.
The forum is a key commitment set out in the Shared Statement and Joint Action Plan launched in March of this year. Both Governments will commit to strengthen the political and economic ties between the two countries.
As we look ahead to the COP26 summit in Glasgow the Forum is a chance to discuss co-operation on green energy, climate action and shared ambitions to meet Net Zero targets.
The First Minister said,
It will be a pleasure to welcome Minister Coveney and colleagues to Wales.
The Forum is a symbol of our joint commitment to strengthening our existing ties at political, economic and cultural level.
These talks are another example of bonds strengthening between the two Celtic countries.
I look forward to continuing to build on our existing relationship and deepen co-operation with our closest European Union neighbour.
Speaking ahead of the Forum, Minister Coveney said,
I am delighted to have the opportunity to meet with First Minister Mark Drakeford today and, together with him, co-chair the Inaugural Ireland Wales Forum.
We launched an ambitious framework for the Ireland Wales relationship earlier this year and one of our shared priorities was to strengthen the Ireland Wales relationship and deepen cooperation.
I believe the Ireland Wales Forum will be an excellent platform for doing so and I am pleased to be joined by Minister Troy and Minister Ryan today.
The delegation will hear from Future Leaders Academy and the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales. They will give an overview of the priorities of young people in Wales for COP26.
During the event the First Minister will announce nine co-operation projects with Ireland. The funds were facilitated through the ScORE Cymru programme launched by the Welsh European Funding Office this summer. The successful selected projects in fields such as energy, coastal communities, trade and tourism, creative industries, culture and language will further boost collaboration through industry and research links across a range of sectors.
After the Forum, the First Minister and Minister Coveney will attend the official opening of the Irish Consulate in Cardiff.