Given the size of the contingent and the requirements of the mission, the UNIFIL rotations take place in two stages, (commonly known as “chalks”). In the normal course, the chalks would have taken place on 12 May and the 19 May 2020. Last week it was announced that the likely timing for the two rotations was late June and early July. Following the continuation of further contacts with the UN in New York, the dates for the rotations were brought forward further. These contacts explored Ireland’s desire for the earliest possible application of the exemption for our UNIFIL contingent alongside the challenges for the UN in managing the impact of the Covid pandemic with 39 peacekeeping operations comprising 100,000 peacekeepers from over 120 countries. The dates of 21 June and 29 June have struck a balance between these various concerns.