The United Kingdom adopted their fifth WPS NAP in 2023. It will cover the period 2023-2027.

Objectives of the  2023-2027 NAP:

The NAP has five strategic objectives, each of which are supported by several commitments to implementation which detail the leading agency and draft indicators:

- Decision-making – increasing women’s meaningful participation, leadership and representation in decision-making processes;

- Gender-based Violence – preventing gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence, and supporting survivors to cope, recover and seek justice;

- Humanitarian and Crisis Response – supporting the needs of women and girls in crises and ensuring they can participate and lead in responses;

- Security and Justice – increasing the accountability of security and justice actors to women and girls and ensuring they are responsive to their rights and needs;

- Transnational Threats – ensuring we respond to the needs of women and girls as part of our approach to transnational threats.


This fifth NAP adopted by the UK is comprehensive in representing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda based on its four pillars: prevention, participation, protection, and relief and recovery. The NAP builds on previous plans and includes specific indicators to enable greater accountability. It refers to the UK’s ongoing commitment to development of the WPS agenda through support to a group of 12 focus countries.  The NAP also refers to its recent  hosting of an international conference on the Prevention of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (PSVI), at which a new strategy for PSVI was launched with further funding. 

Civil society involvement in development of the NAP:

The NAP states that the UK will enhance engagement with civil society and women-led organisations to achieve the NAP’s strategic objectives.  It also recognises the importance of their role, describing them as ‘in the driving seat of the WPS agenda’.

UN Peacekeeping Statistics:

As of Sept 2023, the UK was contributing 268 uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping Missions, of which 26 were women.

Women in peacekeeping:

In the NAP Delivery Plan (Annex A) there is a commitment to increase the percentage of women joining the Armed Forces to 30% by 2030, and increasing the number of women peacekeepers in line with targets set annually by the UN. This is a positive step for the UK Armed Forces, though attention should equally be turned to ensuring that the women who are recruited have the opportunity and support to meaningfully participate in peacekeeping missions.  

The NAP sets out a commitment to introduce a Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) Champion within the Ministry of Defence to ensure policy in this area is understood and implemented across the Armed Forces and hence in peacekeeping missions.  

There are also commitments to advocate and fund opportunities for increased participation of women in conflict-affected countries to join discussions on defence, security and peace processes. 

Within the Security and Justice objective, the UK focuses on increasing gender inclusion and sensitivity in security and justice processes in partner countries and peacekeeping missions. While this is positive, there is no mention of increasing confidence in national police forces, or addressing the sexism, racism or homophobia which has been widely reported in the UK’s own police force during the last couple of years. 

References and sources:

UK’s National Action Plan 2023-2027: UK Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan 2023-2027 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Contribution of Uniformed Personnel to UN by Country, Mission, and Personnel Type (Sept 2023): 05-Missions Detailed By Country

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