Austria

Austria adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2012, but the NAP does not identify a specific period of implementation. The NAP was developed by an inter-ministerial group, which consisted of the Federal Ministries of European and International Affairs; Interior; Justice; Defence; Sports; along with the Federal Chancellery and the Austrian Development Agency. The NAP indicates civil society involvement in the NAP development, implementation, and monitoring process. Austria’s NAP approaches the implementation of the WPS Agenda both domestically and internationally, and outlines three main objectives towards the implementation of UNSCR 1325. These include increasing the representation of women in international peace operations; strengthening the participation of women in peace initiatives and high-level decision-making spaces; and preventing gender-based violence and protecting the rights of women in humanitarian settings. The NAP outlines a monitoring and evaluation framework that consists of annual reviews and comprehensive reporting requirements. Austria’s NAP does not include an allocated budget, but indicates that the activities identified in the NAP “will be ensured by the responsible ministries within the funds available in their respective budgets.” 

Austria’s second NAP is preceded by one other NAP, adopted in 2007, without a specific period of implementation. The NAP was developed through the cooperation of several ministries following consultations with civil society members. Austria’s first and second NAPs are similar in length and level of detail, approaching the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda in a mostly international way. As such, the NAPs identify increasing women’s representation in peacekeeping operations; lobbying for the implementation of Resolution 1325 at the multilateral level; and supporting gender-based reforms in conflict-affected countries among some of its objectives. The second NAP does not provide an overview of the findings from the implementation of the first NAP, nor does it have a lessons learned section. The first NAP identifies working with civil society on conflict prevention and peacebuilding as a priority area for international cooperation. While civil society still has a role in the second NAP, its incorporation appears to focus more on “engagement” and capacity building instead of being framed as a cooperation.  

Austria reported on the implementation of its NAP, as well as WPS commitments, in its national reporting for Beijing+25 and in preparation for CSW64 (2020). Specifically, the country provided the following updates: 

  • Within the scope of the NAP, measures are taken to promote the participation of women in peace processes, to strengthen preventive measures against violence against women, to increase the proportion of women participating in peacekeeping operations and to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions in international organisations like the UN or the EU. (p. 18) 
  • A working group led by the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, reviews the implementation of the NAP once a year. (pp. 61-62)
  • The most recent, ninth implementation report offers an overview of the level of implementation of the revised NAP and the measures taken to support women in conflict and post-conflict situations in 2017. (pp. 61-62)
  • The Austrian Development Agency passed a gender guideline which also aims to implement the NAP 1325. In addition to that, the Austrian Development Agency supports a number of initiatives in the field women, peace, security. (pp. 61-62)

Austria does not have a history of recent armed conflict, but contributes to overseas military and peacekeeping operations. Austria is also a contributor to humanitarian aid, including being a contributing donor to the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund, a global partnership that works to empower women in conflict zones and humanitarian crises. 

At the multilateral level, Austria most recently served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2009-2010 and is currently a candidate for a non-permanent member position for the period 2027-2028. 

CEDAW

1982

Global Gender Gap Index 2020

34 out of 153

Arms Trade Treaty Signed

2014

Military expenditure (2019)

$4.8 billion USD

Explore Austria's National Action Plan

  • Actors
  • Timeframe
  • Objectives
  • Actions/Activities
  • Indicators
  • M&E
  • Budget
  • Disarmament

NAP Development

Ten civil society organizations and three specific organizations (CARE Austria, University of Vienna – Department of International Relations, and Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights) were consulted prior to the development of the first NAP, and although it was mandated in the NAP, Civil Society was not provided opportunity to have input into the review that informed the current revised NAP.

WILPF does not have a country section in Austria and therefore was not involved in the development process of Austria’s NAP.

The development of the NAP was led by the Austrian Inter-ministerial group, that includes the participation of the FCH, the Federal Chancellery, Directariate General II, FMEIA Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs , FMoI Federal Ministry of the Interior, FMoJ Federal Ministry of Justice, FMoDS Federal Ministry of Defense and Sports, and ADA Austrian Development Agency.

NAP Implementation

Civil society has an ongoing specified role in providing input on specific cases and to annual reporting. The first and revised NAP articulate that the Inter-ministerial Working Group must hold at least one meeting with Civil Society each year. However Civil Society implementation reviews have noted that although the Inter-ministerial Working Group has been accessible to Civil Society on an ad hoc basis, the requirement to schedule formal meetings had not been met. Further, although required in the NAP, implementation reviews for the first NAP were conducted without Civil Society consultation.

The Inter-ministerial working group of Austria will continue to operate as the primary Austrian Government mechanism responsible for Austria’s implementation of the UNSCR 1325 and UNSCR 1820. In addition, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women which became operational as of 1 January 2011, has been playing a role in Austria’s process and protocol regarding UNSCR 1325.

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

Civil Society also has a role outside the limited formal mechanisms specified in the NAP, particularly through oversight, promoting UNSCR 1325, education and training, as well as cooperation and support with international organizations and women at the grass roots level. Civil Society in Austria has lacked coordination, and in recognizing this in 2008, CARE Austria initiated the informal Group of Friends of UN SCR 1325, which has met on a semi-regular basis with government ministries and civil society groups. 

While an annual meeting takes place, Austria pays close attention to the application of the UN Indicators for monitoring the implementation of UNSCR 1325. Furthermore, while the meeting is held annually, additional meetings and conferences take place, lastly appropriate measures are taken to include civil society, and raise awareness.

The Austrian NAP does not specify timeframes set for Actions. However, many activities are identified as an “ongoing” and to be reviewed in an annual report. (seen throughout Austria’s NAP).

The Revised Austrian National Action Plan contains the same three objectives:

  • Strategic Objective 1: Increase the representation of women as well as enhanced consideration of the objectives defined in Resolution 1325 in training activities for international peace operations.
  • Strategic Objective 2: Strengthen the participation of women in peace promoting and conflict resolving activities, especially by promoting local peace initiatives by women and increasing the share of women in decision-making positions in international and European organization.
  • Strategic Objective 3: Prevent gender-specific violence and protecting the needs of women and girls within the scope of peace missions, humanitarian operations and in camps for refugees and internally displaced persons.

The Austrian National Action Plan is organized by national, international/regional and bilateral, and development cooperation activities, which can be found in detail in the NAP.

Strategic Objective 2 of the Austrian NAP includes a series of actions for practically achieving these goals.

Strategic Objective 2: Participation, “Promoting political participation of women. Strengthening the representation of women through capacity-building” contains the following actions:

  • Strategies and measures taken to increase the share of women in the overall number of Austrian participants in the UN and EU peace operations and OSCE missions.
  • Deployment of gender experts, gender advisors, junior officer professionals and other experts.
  • Balanced nominations of male and female Austrians to EU and OSCE election monitoring missions.
  • Increased nominations of female Austrians to leadership positions in EU, UN and all OSCE dimensions.

The Austrian NAP lists measures associated with each strategic objective in its monitoring and evaluation framework. These range from measurable and specific to general and are principally qualitative in nature.

For example, in Strategic Objective 3: "Provision of technical support to security sector reform and monitoring activities": 

Support for measures aimed at strengthening protection, security and human rights, and the total amount of financial support provided.

Inter-ministerial Working Group, which is led by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and comprised of representatives of all relevant ministries and the Austrian Development Agency.

The working group is required to provide annual progress reports to the Austrian Council of Ministers, which is then forwarded to Parliament. Civil society is required to have input in the review process, facilitated primarily through annual joint meetings, and the provision of ad hoc civil society representation to the working group. Civil Society input must be sought in advance of preparing annual reports. As noted, this did not occur during the life of the first NAP.

Coordination, Monitoring and Reporting is a priority within the “Activities in Austria” strategic area of the NAP. As such, specific activities, indicators, timelines and responsible actors are articulated.

Annual reports must be forwarded to the Parliament and made publicly available through departmental websites.

A comprehensive review of the NAP, in cooperation with Civil Society, is scheduled for 2016.

The Austrian NAP does not include an allocated or estimated budget, and instead states that “Financing of the activities resulting from the implementation of the Action Plan will be ensured by the responsible ministries within the funds available in their respective budgets.”

The initial NAP and its revision did not include indicators or actions to formulate strategies for sourcing increased funding, level of funding required for specific activities, or accountability mechanisms to ensure funding is raised and used in implementing the NAP. 

Austria's 2012 revised NAP does not specifically mention disarmament.

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