Sweden adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2016 for the period 2016-2020. The NAP was developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with a reference group, which consisted of several government agencies, civil society organizations, and research institutes. The NAP indicates civil society involvement in the NAP development, implementation, and monitoring process, with several women’s organizations, including Kvinna till Kvinna and WILPF, acting among the civil society representatives. Sweden’s NAP outlines four main objectives towards the implementation of UNSCR 1325. These include inclusive peace processes and peacebuilding; conflict prevention; strengthening protection of women and girls; and gender mainstreaming in leadership and expertise. The NAP outlines a monitoring and evaluation framework that consists of annual reviews, with a detailed implementation matrix and follow-up plan to be developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sweden’s NAP does not include an allocated budget, but indicates that “financing takes place within the framework of regular budget allocation” and that the identified activities to be carried out in focus countries “will be financed within the framework of Sweden’s international development cooperation” (p. 24).
Sweden’s third NAP is preceded by two other NAPs, adopted in 2006 and 2009 and implemented for the period 2006-2008 and 2009-2012, respectively. While the second and third NAPs include a more detailed discussion and plan of implementation, a commitment to gender equality and human rights underpins all three NAPs. In a similar manner, all NAPs take a multi-tier approach to WPS implementation, including activities at the national, regional, and international level. Nevertheless, domestic activities mostly appear in the form of increasing the number of women in military and peacekeeping operations, without a more holistic approach. The second and third NAPs both include an overview of lessons learned from the implementation of the previous NAPs. Specifically, the second NAP states that there needs to be more cooperation and exchange, including increased awareness of Resolution 1325, at the national level, while the third NAP identifies the lack of clear allocation of responsibilities as an obstacle for implementation. While all NAPs highlight the importance of monitoring and financing, none of the NAPs have detailed monitoring and evaluation frameworks or an allocated budget.
Sweden 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 report provides an overview of Sweden’s leadership in matters pertaining to women, peace, and security, underscoring the importance of representation and inclusivity for sustainable peace. The report identifies the integration of the WPS agenda as a priority for both domestic and international activities. In particular, the report states that Sweden held a pioneering role in the inclusion of information from women’s organizations in the UN Security Council’s analyses as well as contributing to the increased representation of women in peace processes, including in Afghanistan, Colombia, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, and Syria (p. 56).
Sweden does not have a history of recent armed conflict, but is involved in overseas military operations, international peacekeeping, and humanitarian missions.
Sweden is a major contributor to humanitarian aid, including being 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 2019, Sweden was UN Women’s second-largest contributor with USD 56.14 million and the third-largest contributor to regular resources with USD 13.05 million. Sweden is also a member of the Nordic Women Mediators Network, which was launched in 2015.
In 2014, Sweden became the first country to adopt a feminist foreign policy, which identified six long-term objectives: women and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights; freedom from physical, psychological and sexual violence; participation in preventing and resolving conflicts, and post-conflict peacebuilding; political participation and influence in all areas of society; economic rights and empowerment; and sexual and reproductive health and rights. In 2019, Sweden also adopted a feminist trade policy, with the goal to ensure gender equality in trade agreements and all trade-related activities.
At the multilateral level, Sweden most recently served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2017-2018.