Estonian, Finnish and Irish troops serve under a combined battalion in the UNIFIL mission in south Lebanon. The size of the contribution these three states make to UN peacekeeping is perhaps not well known – they are respectively the fourth, second and first largest European contributors, per capita, to UN missions. For each of them, UNIFIL is their single largest contribution to peace support operations.
In this report, commissioned by Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we examine the role of small states in United Nations peacekeeping through the lens of UNIFIL. Despite the different backgrounds and military cultures ofthe participating states, the Finnish/Irish Battalion is a successful partnership, bringing direct benefits to each of the countries involved. The partnership allows the three states to make the kind of contribution to peacekeeping which, for different reasons is an important aspect of
their foreign and security policies, that would be difficult to make were they to operate alone. Through their soldiers of peace, Estonia, Finland and Ireland make vital contributions to global peace and security.