New Zealand adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in 2015 for the period 2015-2019. The NAP was developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in coordination with the New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Police, and the Ministry for Women. The NAP does not indicate civil society involvement in the NAP development process. The NAP identifies four overarching objectives that align with the primary pillars of UNSCR 1325: prevention, participation, protection, and peace, relief, and recovery. The NAP approaches the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda mostly internationally, identifying WPS actions in a number of conflict-affected countries, including Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. Additionally, the NAP has the goal to improve international deployment rates of senior staff within the New Zealand Defense Force and New Zealand Police as well as to increase the numbers of women at decision-making levels in peacekeeping and assistance missions. While the NAP’s objectives have corresponding actions and indicators, the NAP does not have an allocated budget.
New Zealand 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).
New Zealand does not have a recent history of conflict, but it was involved in overseas military operations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. The New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS) faced allegations of war crimes, including torture, committed during Operation Burnham, a joint operation undertaken in 2010 in Afghanistan. The New Zealand government initiated an official inquiry to address the allegations in 2018, which resulted in the delivery of four overarching recommendations, including establishing an office of the Independent Inspector-General of Defence “to facilitate oversight over the New Zealand Defense Force and enhance its democratic accountability” (p. 33).
In 2019, New Zealand was among the top 15 countries in the world with the biggest increase in their military expenditure, with a 19% increase in its military spending.
Additionally, New Zealand is a major contributor to humanitarian aid and operations.
At the multilateral level, New Zealand most recently served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2015-2016.