Finland adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2023 for the period 2023-2027. The NAP was developed with administrative branches and civil society through workshops, seminars and evaluation of the previous NAP (p. 33). The cross-administrative WPS monitoring group coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs played a key role in preparing the finalized version of the NAP, and the NAP states that the expertise of NGOs and civil society was tapped across a broad front (p.33). The implementation of the NAP will be primarily coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Forces, the Ministry of the Interior and the Crisis Management Centre (CMC Finland), which operates in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Ministry of Environment. NGOs that have committed to implementing the NAP include Finn Church Aid, the Rule of Law Centre, the Finnish Refugee Council, the Finnish Red Cross, and the Family Federation of Finland.  

Finland’s NAP approaches the implementation of the WPS Agenda both domestically and internationally, and identifies five thematic objectives: conflict prevention and peacebuilding; peace processes and peace mediation; security sector, crisis management, and crisis preparedness; safety of women and girls and realization of their rights in conflicts; and mainstreaming and advocacy (p28). The NAP also outlines principles that underscore the country’s approach to lasting peace, conflict prevention and crisis management, including: human rights-based planning; the concept of comprehensive security (e.g. impacts of climate change, health threats, human rights violations, migration, economic crises, inequalities as well as recognising that peace is not just the absence of violent conflict, but an equal and democratic society underpinned by human rights and human security); a gender transformative approach; and intersectionality (p.24). The NAP does not include monitoring and implementation indicators. Instead, it states that a separate implementation plan will be drawn up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and indicators will be created to underpin the monitoring of the plan (p.73). Despite an evaluation report of Finland’s third NAP stating that the greatest challenges in implementation were associated with undersized personnel and budgetary resources, no clear budget is mentioned in the fourth NAP (p.23).  

The three former NAPs were adopted in 2008, 2012 and 2018, for the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2016, and 2018-2021 respectively. The structure and level of detail across Finland’s NAPs remains similar, with each NAP focusing on conflict prevention, peace processes and peacebuilding and crisis management, with the safety and human rights of women and girls appearing as an overarching objective across them all. Additionally, the fourth NAP continues the work of the third NAP in terms of addressing disarmament with a specific outcome focused on incorporating gender perspectives into arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation (p.38). The fourth NAP, however, also has an additional section relating to mainstreaming of the WPS agenda, and the advocacy work that Finland aims to do at the country and international level (p.69). 

Finland does not have a recent history of armed conflict, but experiences ongoing political tension because of the military exercises conducted by Russia in the Baltic Sea Region. Additionally, about six months prior to the publication of the fourth NAP, Finland formally joined NATO, which is a major policy shift away from non-alignment. Domestically and regionally, Finland works on the WPS agenda through diplomacy, crisis management, development cooperation, 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 GBV in humanitarian emergencies.  

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