The Netherlands adopted its fourth National Action Plan (NAP) for the period 2021-2025. The fourth NAP states that its main vision is “a world of sustainable peace, security and development for all, where equal participation of women and girls is self-evident.” It has five strategic outcomes, which correlate to the four main pillars of the WPS agenda and also prioritize gender mainstreaming. The fourth Dutch National Action Plan was developed through a consultative process with a range of actors, including ministries such as the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice and Security, and Education, Science, and Culture, and the police service. Additionally, over 60 civil society organisations participated. All of these actors together are part of the Dutch NAP partnership. The fourth NAP is preceded by three others, for the periods 2016-2019, 2012-2015, and 2008-2011.
The second, third, and fourth NAPs both have standalone sections that provide an overview of the implementation of the previous action plans as well as “lessons learned” for the revised NAP. The third NAP, for instance, states that the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the body responsible body for evaluating the implementation of the NAP, found out that “the NAPs have not provided guidance … on how to translate the resolution’s objectives into actions that are responsive to contextual gender realities” (p. 21). As such, the third NAP aims to strengthen its gender-specific analysis as well as monitoring and evaluation mechanism. All four NAPs approach the implementation of the WPS agenda mostly internationally. The first three NAPs approach disarmament through the narrow framework of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) efforts, and the fourth NAP has an objective of implementing Article 7.4 of the Arms Trade Treaty.
The Netherlands does not have a recent history of conflict, but plays a large role in international peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts. The Netherlands is 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. The Netherlands 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 2016, the Dutch parliament passed a bill to halt arms exports to Saudi Arabia, over concerns about violations of humanitarian law in Yemen. In 2019, the Netherlands was among the top 15 arms exporters in the world.
At the multilateral level, the Netherlands most recently served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for a one-year term in 2017, splitting the ordinarily two-year term with Italy due to a deadlocked election result.