Finland adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2018 for the period 2018-2021. The NAP was developed collectively by several ministries and institutions that work in crisis management, such as Crisis Management Centre Finland, Finnish Defense Forces, civil society organisations, and experts from research institutions. The NAP will also be implemented and monitored collectively by these entities. The NAP incorporates recommendations from the Global Study on 1325 (2015), particularly on conflict prevention. Nevertheless, it approaches the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda mostly internationally. The NAP aims to strengthen the meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, mainstream gender in the security sector, and improve the protection of women and girls while strengthening conflict prevention, including in places such as Afghanistan, Kenya, and Nepal. The NAP highlights the link between arms proliferation and women’s security and aims to incorporate a gender perspective into arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. However, the NAP does not include an allocated budget.
Finland’s third NAP is preceded by two other NAPs, adopted in 2008 and 2012 and implemented for the period 2008-2011 and 2012-2016, respectively. The structure and level of detail across Finland’s three NAPs remain consistently similar, including their approach to implementing the WPS agenda in a mostly international way. Furthermore, each NAP focuses on conflict prevention, peace processes, and peacebuilding; crisis management; and strengthening, protecting, and safeguarding the human rights of women and girls appearing as overarching objectives across. The third NAP has an additional section, which identifies cross-cutting themes in WPS implementation. This brief section focuses on enhancing Finland’s leadership in implementing WPS commitments at the global level. Specifically, the NAP states that Finland will be strengthening research, with topics to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, that will increase women’s participation in conflict prevention efforts, especially in fragile contexts. The third NAP is also Finland’s first NAP that addresses disarmament, with a specific outcome focused on incorporating a gender perspective into arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation at national and international levels.
Finland does not have a recent history of armed conflict, but experiences ongoing political tension as a result of the military exercises conducted by Russia in the Baltic Sea Region. Domestically and regionally, Finland works on the WPS agenda through diplomacy, crisis management, development cooperation, and humanitarian aid and other expert work and training with EU policy measures. Internationally, Finland has collaborated with the governments of Afghanistan, Kenya, and Nepal to support their efforts in the implementation and follow-up of their WPS NAPs. Finland is also a partner of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to mitigate and provide accountability for gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies.
In 2015, Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released its guidelines for protecting and promoting the work of human rights defenders, with the goal to offer Finnish public servants and diplomatic missions with a framework to support human rights defenders. Finland is also a member of the Nordic Women Mediators Network, which was launched in 2015.