Portugal adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2019 for the period 2019-2022. Portugal’s third National Action Plan (NAP) is the result of the evaluation of the previous Action Plan, which provided recommendations for structuring the new NAP. Through this document, the Lisbon government recognizes gender equality and non-discrimination as a constitutional, ethical and legal imperative and seeks to incorporate the gender perspective in the different areas of public policy, particularly in diplomatic, military, security, justice and development cooperation activities; moreover, the NAP defines how Portugal incorporates the UNSCR 1325 on the national, regional and international fronts. The NAP is aligned with Portugal’s diverse international commitments, including in the European Council, the European Union and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, and complies with the European Council for the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention).
Portugal’s third NAP is preceded by two other NAPs, adopted in 2009 and 2014 and implemented for the period 2009-2013 and 2014-2018, respectively. The first NAP approaches the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda mostly internationally, identifying the goal to “promot[e] the inclusion of the dimension of gender equality at all stages of peacebuilding processes and the promotion of safety” (p. 5). As such, there is a strong emphasis on women’s inclusion in peacekeeping missions and peacebuilding efforts among the NAP’s objectives. The NAP does not have a detailed monitoring and implementation framework, nor does it include an allocated budget. The second NAP was developed through a participatory approach that included a public consultation as well as an independent external evaluation of the country’s first NAP. Nevertheless, the content of the first NAP’s objectives remain mostly unchanged in the second NAP, even though the revised action plan has a more detailed implementation matrix.
Portugal plays a role in international peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts. Portugal is 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, Portugal was among the top 25 arms exporters in the world.
At the multilateral level, Portugal most recently served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2011-2011, and is currently a candidate for a non-permanent member seat for the period 2027-2028.