Australia has adopted a second National Action Plan (NAP) for the period 2021-2031. The development of Australia’s second National Action Plan comes at the behest of a changing global context, where new challenges including climate change and health pandemics contribute to fragility and conflict (p.6). The Australian Government developed their National Action Plan with recommendations from two independent reviews, national consultations conducted by government and civil society, and women, peace, and security research and evidence (p.11). It will be implemented by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Defense, Department of Home Affairs, Australia’s Federal Police, and the Australian Civil-Military Centre.
Australia adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in 2012, for the period 2012-2018. The NAP was developed by the Australian Government Office for Women, which was tasked with convening the Women, Peace and Security Inter-Departmental Working Group. The government undertook extensive civil society engagement leading up to and during the development of the NAP, including with WILPF Australia. The NAP approaches the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda mostly internationally.
Australia does not have a recent history of armed conflict, but is a contributor to UN peacekeeping operations and NATO military missions and provides international humanitarian relief and development assistance. This includes peacekeeping missions in East Timor, regional assistance missions in the Solomon Islands, and humanitarian support and law enforcement to indigenous communities. Australia is a contributing donor to the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund, a global partnership that works to empower women in conflict zones and humanitarian crises. Australia 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 2019, Australia was UN Women’s ninth largest other resources and regular resources contributor with USD $8.8 million and USD $5.5 million, respectively.
At the multilateral level, Australia most recently served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2013-2014.