Switzerland adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2018 for the period 2018-2022. The NAP was developed by the Interdepartmental Working Group (IDWG 1325) in consultation with Swiss representations abroad, Swiss civil society, and partner organisations. Furthermore, the NAP incorporated the recommendations of the civil society report “1325 Reloaded” during the revision process. The NAP identifies five overarching goals: effective involvement of women in conflict prevention; women’s participation in and influence on conflict resolution and peace processes; protection against sexual and gender-based violence in conflict, refugee and migration contexts; women’s participation in peace missions and security policy; and multi- and bilateral commitment by Switzerland to women, peace and security. Furthermore, the fourth NAP includes a focus for greater participation by women in the prevention of violent extremism, since the passing of UNSCR 2242 (2015) as well as the incorporation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 on gender equality. The NAP includes an additional focus on engaging men in women, peace and security work as well as calling for greater consideration of gender aspects in arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation. Each objective has corresponding actions and indicators as well as being accompanied by a monitoring and evaluation framework. The NAP does not have an allocated budget, but holds each organizational unit responsible for allocating a budget to their respective activities.
Switzerland’s fourth NAP is preceded by three other NAPs, adopted in 2007, 2010, and 2013 and implemented for the period 2007-2009; 2010-2012; and 2013-2016, respectively. Switzerland’s engagement with the WPS agenda has become significantly more substantive with the adoption of its subsequent NAPs. Of particular notice is that each NAP begins with a section that provides an overview of the findings and recommendations from the implementation phases of prior NAPs. The second and third NAPs also have examples of NAP implementation, including a section on the Swiss government’s small arms strategy in the latter. Switzerland’s fourth NAP is unique in that it is the first time that civil society was included in the implementation of a NAP. The most recent NAP also has a slight expansion of its focus by not just approaching WPS implementation internationally, but also prioritizing the domestic country context with the goal to focus on the needs of women refugees in Switzerland.
Switzerland 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 an overview of the novelties in their fourth NAP, while also elaborating on Switzerland’s engagement with activities and initiatives pertaining to women in conflict.
Switzerland does not have a recent history of armed conflict, but plays an important role in international humanitarian and development operations.
Switzerland has a long-standing policy of military neutrality and has a national Peace Policy, which focuses on the implementation of the country’s long-standing commitment to the promotion of peace worldwide. Nevertheless, in 2019, Switzerland was among the top 40 countries with the highest military expenditure as well as being among the top 15 arms exporters in the world. Furthermore, Switzerland has mandatory military service for all able-bodied male citizens of the country as well as having the highest rate of firearm ownership in Europe and the third highest in the world.
Switzerland is a 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, Switzerland was UN Women’s second-largest contributor of regular resources with USD 16.03 million and the seventh-largest contributor of total resources with USD 19.36 million.
At the multilateral level, Switzerland is a candidate for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council for the period 2023-2024.