The United Kingdom launched its fourth National Action Plan(NAP) in January 2018 for a period of five years (2018-2022). WILPF’s section in the UK, a member of the Gender Action for Peace and Security Network (GAPS), along with other civil society organisations, participated in the creation of the NAP. Civil society engagement also included in-country consultations in Afghanistan, Burma, Somalia and Syria. WILPF International, Amnesty International UK and Women Now for Development, have participated in consultations with other Syrian civil society organisations and peace activists to formulate strategies on the best ways to create positive outcomes for Syrian women and girls. The NAP implementation will be monitored by the cross-government Working Group on WPS in partnership with focus country teams and civil society groups. Annual reporting to Parliament will also reflect UK activity across departments and funding mechanisms to ensure accountability for delivery of the NAP.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) is both directly and indirectly involved in several international conflicts, including in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. Even though the internal conflict in Northern Ireland ended in 1998, the peace process in Northern Ireland is still underway and remains highly fragile. The difficult issue is that the UK Government denies that there was a conflict; however, women’s organisations have been lobbying for years to have the UK recognise the applicability of UNSCR 1325 in Northern Ireland because of the conflict that took place.
The updated NAP strengthens opportunities for local women civil society to initiate partnerships that address local needs in the UK’s efforts to build security and stability abroad. However, gaps remain in other key areas. Although domestic strategies such as on ending violence against women and immigration are recognised as complementary, the focus remains externally focused. This means the impact of gendered violence within the country, from immigration to the status of women in Northern Ireland, remain unaddressed. In addition, although the previous version of the NAP (2014-2017) expressed the UK commitment to control illicit small arms and light weapons, references to disarmament are missing in this NAP, particularly in reference to the consistent transfer of arms from the UK to various conflict zones in Africa and the Middle East