This year New Zealand will become the 49th country to adopt a National Action Plan (NAP) on women, peace and security. This is fifteen years after the adoption of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 and eleven years after Kofi Annan’s call for member states to develop NAPs. New Zealand has a rich history of advancing women’s rights as the first country to give women the vote and is ranked thirteenth out of 136 countries in the World Economic Forum's 2014 Global Gender Gap Index. But the development of a women, peace and security NAP has waited until the achievement of a non-permanent seat on the UNSC. This timing could be fortuitous. During its two-year term in New York, New Zealand has a crucial opportunity to advance UNSCR 1325 issues at the international level.
New Zealand’s draft NAP was released in May 2015. It focuses on five areas: (1) ensuring women’s involvement in decision-making within conflict and post-conflict situations; (2) promoting New Zealand women as mediators and negotiators in international forums; (3) increasing the number of New Zealand women deployed in police and military roles in UN-mandated peacekeeping missions; (4) ensuring that gender analysis informs NZ’s peace support responses, and development assistance to conflict-affected countries; and (5) promoting efforts to combat sexual violence, intimate partner violence and violence against women in conflict affected countries where New Zealand has a development programme or post.