ICDS Research Fellows Tony Lawrence, Tomas Jermalavičius and Anna Bulakh presented their report, “Soldiers of Peace: Estonia, Finland and Ireland in UNIFIL” at a seminar at ICDS on 13 December.
Estonian, Finnish and Irish troops serve under a combined battalion in the UNIFIL mission in south Lebanon. The report, commissioned by Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, examines the role of small states in United Nations peacekeeping through the lens of this mission. It is largely based on interviews with strategic-level decision makers and with peacekeepers in south Lebanon, and discusses the reasons for the three states’ involvement and the benefits and challenges of working together.
The event was introduced by Ambassador Frank Flood, Ireland’s ambassador to Estonia and by Hannes Hanso, Chair of the Defence Committee of the Estonian Parliament. Comments responding to the report were made by Robert Jackson, Deputy Head of Security Policy Department, Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Commander Jussi Voutilainen, Finland’s Defence Attaché to Estonia. These were followed by a general discussion with the audience.
The report and an accompanying video of interviews with peacekeepers in south Lebanon is available here.