Lebanon adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in 2019 for the period 2019-2022. The NAP was developed by a steering committee, spearheaded by the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW), which was composed of six government ministries, three civil society organizations, and six UN agencies serving as a technical advisory board. The NAP highlights a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach in implementing the identified objectives, and emphasizes that the NAP should be “viewed as a living document that can be reviewed and revised by responsible national institutions as they see fit” (p. 18). The objectives of the NAP reflect the pillars of UNSCR 1325, with specific focus on increasing women’s full participation in decision-making processes in the political, diplomatic, and economic domain as well as in the security and defense sectors. As such, the NAP contextualizes the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda by grounding the discussion in Lebanon’s national legal and strategic frameworks and persisting challenges of advancing women’s rights in the personal, political, and legal realms. The NAP also connects these discussions to the international human rights framework as well as promoting an integrated agenda by linking WPS actions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 5 on reducing gender inequality and Goal 16 on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies. Additionally, the NAP includes an allocated budget.
The most recent conflict in Lebanon’s history is the Lebanese Civil War, which lasted from 1975 until 1990, leaving over 100,000 casualties and an estimated 17,000 people missing or disappeared. In 1991, the Lebanese government issued an amnesty law, pardoning all crimes committed during the war. Nevertheless, as a result of the growing pressure from the families of those who were disappeared, the government passed a landmark law in 2018 to establish an independent national commission to investigate the disappearances. On the international front, dissolving the final remnants of the war, Israel and Syria withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and 2005, respectively. However, the escalating tensions between Lebanon and Israel led to a 34-day conflict in 2006, thus resulting in the expansion of the UNIFIL mandate to prevent hostilities. In the past decade, Lebanon has also been grappling with the spillover effects of the Syrian Civil War, and currently hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees. Most recently, between 2019 and 2020, Lebanon experienced a series of political protests in which women played a key role to demand an end to social, political, and economic inequalities that stand as the remnants of the civil war.