17 March 2021

On March 17, President Joe Biden hosted Taoiseach Micheál Martin for a virtual bilateral meeting.  The leaders reaffirmed the deep, historic partnership and extraordinary people-to-people ties between the United States and Ireland, and they committed to working together to address areas of shared interest.

Combating COVID-19

The top priority of the President and the Taoiseach is ending the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring global health security, and pursuing a sustainable economic recovery in the United States and Ireland.

  • The President and the Taoiseach agreed to cooperate in global efforts to defeat the pandemic, build resilience, and prevent future outbreaks.
  • They committed to working with each other, the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, and COVAX to address the urgent need for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines and to strengthen international institutions responsible for global health.
  • They committed to working together to reopen our economies and restore global travel safely.
  • The President and the Taoiseach recognised the need for a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery plan that addresses the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on women and underrepresented and minority groups.

Addressing Global Challenges

The President and the Taoiseach affirmed their shared commitment to addressing global challenges bilaterally and through multilateral institutions, including the European Union, of which Ireland is a member.

  • The leaders emphasised their commitment to multilateral institutions, which play a central role in promoting peace, prosperity, and stability.
  • In the United Nations Security Council, the United States and Ireland will cooperate on shared priorities of peacekeeping, conflict resolution, women’s rights, climate and security, and promoting democratic values, rule of law, and respect for human rights.
  • The President and the Taoiseach underscored the need to promote our shared democratic values and the international rules-based order.
  • The two leaders pledged to strengthen efforts to address non-traditional security threats, including violent extremism, natural disasters, food insecurity, and humanitarian access, as well as to cooperate and build capacity in cyberspace.
  • Both leaders regard climate action as a critical issue. They committed to working together to implement strong domestic policies and international action designed to increase climate resilience.  They expressed their commitment to strengthening the implementation of the Paris Agreement. They also agreed to work together to ensure environmental protection in the Arctic region.
  • The President and the Taoiseach agreed on the importance of a strong relationship between the United States and Europe based on a shared history and values, as we work together to support economic recovery and help to build a more peaceful and prosperous world.

Increasing Our Shared Prosperity

The President and the Taoiseach recognised the importance of a predictable, open, and transparent economic policy framework that encourages two-way foreign investment and promotes fair trade and competition.

  • Recognised the importance of job creation in both the United States and Ireland, and highlighted the hundreds of thousands of jobs in both countries supported by strong two-way flows of investment.
  • The President and the Taoiseach agreed to support deepening trade and investment between the European Union and the United States.
  • The leaders committed to continue developing global cooperation in many areas, including global tax reform; data protection; science, technology, and innovation; and transatlantic trade, including through the work of the OECD.
  • They emphasised the strategic importance of democracies working together to hold international trading partners accountable to standards of open and free-market trade policies.

Supporting the Good Friday Agreement

The United States and Ireland are unequivocally committed to the Good Friday Agreement (also known as the Belfast Agreement), which has been the bedrock of peace, stability, and prosperity in Northern Ireland.

  • The President and the Taoiseach underscored the importance of preserving the hard-won gains of the peace process for all the people of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
  • They agreed on the importance of the democratic institutions established under the Agreement, including the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly, continuing to work on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland and delivering on the commitments of the Good Friday Agreement, and subsequent agreements.
  • They emphasised the vital role of the British and Irish governments as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, the contribution of local leaders from across Northern Ireland’s political spectrum, and the important and supportive role of the United States.
  • They called for the good-faith implementation of international agreements designed to address the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland.
  • The President and the Taoiseach paid tribute to the late John Hume, whose life work was invaluable to the advancement of the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Strengthening People-to-People Ties

The United States and Ireland are committed to broadening and deepening the breadth of people to people ties between the two nations, including through collaborative research projects, cultural programs, educational exchanges, and tourism.

  • The President and the Taoiseach agreed to encourage the return and expansion of student exchanges between the United States and Ireland after the pandemic.
  • The leaders expressed their support for an earned path to citizenship for immigrants in the United States, as proposed in the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021.
  • The leaders welcomed the renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Departments of Health of Ireland and Northern Ireland and the United States National Cancer Institute, which established the Ireland/Northern Ireland/NCI Cancer Consortium in October 1999. This partnership aims, through cross-border and transatlantic collaborations, to enhance cancer research and cancer care for the benefit of patients on the island of Ireland and in the United States.
  • The leaders also welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Poetry Ireland and the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation. The program, titled “Hope Rhymes” affirms the inspirational power of poetry. It aims to deepen appreciation of each other’s poetic cultures and to facilitate a sharing of experience between poetry teachers and students across the United States and Ireland.