Plan launched October 14, 2015
1 – Prevention. Incorporation of the perspectives of women into prevention frameworks.
2 – Participation. Increase women’s involvement and participation in high level decision making, especially in conflict and post-conflict situations.
3 – Protection. Specifically refers to “increasing the number of New Zealand women deployed in police and military roles in UNSC mandated peacekeeping missions and other peacekeeping operations.”
4 – Peacebuilding, relief and recovery. Emphasizes the importance of women’s perspectives, their needs in relief and recovery.
Commentary: The primary focus of the New Zealand NAP has been external. In addition to targeting internal challenges, the plan has specific priorities for looking at and combating challenges within conflict and post-conflict situations abroad. This includes increasing the number of women at decision-making levels in peacekeeping missions, as well as increasing gender justice through an aid program. A number of other countries feature in New Zealand’s NAP as examples of on-going programs including Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.
Civil society: There is no specific mention of how civil society were to be consulate in any stages of the the creation of the NAP, however a working group (the gender-balanced interagency governmental group) was given the responsibility of participating in monitoring and evaluation of the NAP by creation of annual progress reports. This working group is to invite NGOs and civils society groups who will participate in the monitoring process. New Zealand’s NAP was criticized by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) for failing to adequately consult civil society and women’s groups. Plans to include civil society in implementation and monitoring mechanisms were also argued to be “weak”.
Women in Peacekeeping: Mentions importance of women in peacekeeping specifically. Stating that women only head 15 percent of UN peacekeeping (and political/peacebuilding missions), and that there is a need to ensure all such missions are dedicated to incorporating gender expertise. One objective (and corresponding action) refers specifically to “increasing the number of New Zealand women deployed in police and military roles in UNSC mandated peacekeeping missions”12 connecting this to the increased capability of peacekeeping missions to respond to women and girl’s needs. Specifically, objective 4 includes actions that will be taken to increase women’s availability for peacekeeping missions. These are programs centered around the recruitment, retention and senior-level promotion of women. Some commentators have argued that there is need for an extensive overhaul of programs aimed at recruiting (and retaining) women in the NZ police and defense force, highlighting the way women in the sector continue to face an “armored glass ceiling.”13 For women to enter high level position within UNSC peacekeeping missions, they have to progress through to senior rankings within police and defense force. The challenge is to ensure this happens. The NAP does draw attention to the importance of reform for women within a militarized security framework (to the extent that it was criticized by WILPF who felt the NAP blurs the line between UN peacekeeping operations and combat deployments).
UN Peacekeeping statistics
Experts on Mission: 2 of 11
Staff Officers: 1 of 1