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.
National Action Plan (2018-2021)
Global Gender Gap Index 2020
3 out of 153
Arms Trade Treaty Ratified
Military expenditure (2019)
$3.9 billion USD
Explore Finland's National Action Plan
Just like the previous NAPs, the 1325 Network of civil society played an active role in the updating of the NAP by lobbying for their recommendations to be taken into consideration during the development of creation of the 2018-2021 NAP.
The government actors involved in the development of the 2018-2021 NAP were the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Crisis Management Centre Finland, and the Finnish Defense Forces.
Civil society is also responsible for the implementation of the 2018-2021 NAP, including through submitting proposals and initiatives aimed at ensuring that the WPS Agenda is integrated into international and regional policies, strategies and activities.
The Ministry of Foreign Relations, Ministry of National Defense, and the Ministry of Women and Gender Equity are responsible for the implementation of the 2018-2021 NAP.
NAP Monitoring and Evaluation
Representatives of civil society organisations participate in the monitoring and evaluation work of the follow-up group.
The overall monitoring and evaluation of the 2018-2021 NAP will be systematically monitored by the national follow-up group, which is led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Within the national follow-up group, there are members of different ministries, agencies, civil society organisations and the research community.
The third NAP is to be implemented in a period of four years 2018-2021 (four years).
The main goals of the 2018-2021 NAP are:
1. Women play a more meaningful role and there is more emphasis on mainstreaming the gender perspective in mediation, peace processes and transition processes.
2. Women play a more meaningful role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
3. Mainstreaming of the gender perspective is more integrated into the security sector and crisis management.
4. Women and girls receive better protection, their rights are better safeguarded and their needs are better met during crises.
5. Finland promotes the objectives 1-4 in the policies, strategies and work of international and regional organisations and by encouraging the development of National Action Plans.
Finland’s 2018-2021 NAP has various activities assigned to achieve its objectives. For example, for the first objective “women play a more meaningful role and there is greater emphasis on mainstreaming of the gender perspective in mediation, peace and processes and transition processes” has the following external actions outlined:
- Actively develop meditation as part of conflict prevention in conflict-affected countries and in international forums;
- Provide political and economic support along with expertise for civil society actors in conflict and conflict-prone regions;
- Create practices strengthening and facilitating the participation of women by identifying obstacles to their participation;
- Ensure the collection of good practices in the field to be used in mediation.
The 2018-2021 NAP includes fewer indicators than the previous NAPs. For example, regarding Objective 1 on “women play a more meaningful role and there is greater emphasis on mainstreaming of the gender perspective in mediation, peace processes and transition processes” the following indicators have been proposed for Outcomes 1.1 and 1.2 along with the bodies responsible for its effectiveness:
- Outcome 1.1 - Challenges/objectives to women’s meaningful participation and gender mainstreaming in mediation, peace processes and transition processes have been identified:
- Finland strengthens the link between practical work in the field and research-based conflict analysis on women’s participation in mediation, peace processes and transition process. The responsible bodies are: the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finn Church Aid (FCA), The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM) and the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI);
- Finland promotes high-level experience sharing, collection of lessons learned and mentoring. The responsible parties are: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, FCA, FELM and CMI;
- Finland raises awareness at international regional forums of women’s participation in mediation, peace and transition processes in all levels. The bodies responsible are: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, FCA, FELM and CMI.
- Outcome 1.2 -Recommendations have been implemented to increase women’s meaningful participation and gender mainstreaming in mediation, peace and transition processes
- Finland promotes the inclusion of the gender perspective in mediation, peace and transition processes. The responsible bodies are: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, FCA, FELM and CMI;
- Finland supports women’s participation before and during peace, dialogue and transition processes, formal or informal. Bodies responsible are: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, FCA, FELM and CMI;
- Finland provides public authorities and other relevant actors with training on the inclusion of the gender perspective at various stages of peace processes. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for this indicator;
- Lastly, women are increasingly present at the post-agreement implementation and monitoring phases in which Finland is involved. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, FCA, FELM and CMI are also responsible.
Similar to the previous NAPs, the national follow-up group will be responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of the 2018-2021 NAP. Detailed mid-term and final evaluation reports will be prepared by the follow-up group and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Unlike the previous NAPs, technical working groups will be created to address the different themes presented in the 2018-2021 NAP to ensure and facilitate cooperation, communication and reporting between the entities responsible for overall implementation. Based on these reports, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will prepare an annual report to the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament with updates on the implementation of the NAP.
Similar to the previous NAPs, the 2018-2021 NAP does not provide any allocated budget or an estimated budget. It does however mention that the central government must provide monetary support for civil society organisations’ 1325 work. There is no mention on the budget in reference to its general implementation.
Unlike the previous NAPs, the third updated NAP creates a strong connection between women, disarmament and non-proliferation. Weapons are addressed as a risk to women’s security. More specifically, in its second objective on “women play a more meaningful role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding”, outcome 2.3 includes information on disarmament. Outcome 2.3 states:
- The gender perspective has been incorporated into arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation at national and international levels.
- Finland supports the implementation of Article 7 (4) of the Arms Trade Treaty, on preventing gender-based violence, by all State Parties. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be responsible for this outcome;
- Finland includes the gender perspective in arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation at national and international levels. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be responsible for this outcome;
- Finland promotes and supports the meaningful participation of women and women’s organisations in policy discussions and negotiations on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be responsible for this outcome.