NATO/EAPC policy for implementing UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and related Resolutions

  • 27 Jun. 2011 -
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  • Last updated: 13 Jul. 2011 13:51

The NATO/EAPC policy for implementing UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and its related Resolutions underlines the commitment of NATO and its Partners to promote and strengthen their efforts to achieve a more robust and effective implementation of the goals of the Resolutions. Fully recognizing the importance of active inclusion, participation, and the role of women for dealing successfully with the security challenges of the 21st century, NATO and its Partners aim to make the principles of UNSCR 1325 an integral part of their everyday business, including their political, civilian and military structures, and their operations and missions.


1.1   Adopted by the United Nations Security Council in October 2000, UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security recognises the disproportionate effect of armed conflict on women and children in particular, as civilians, refugees or internally displaced persons who are increasingly targeted by combatants. It also reaffirms the need to implement fully international humanitarian and human rights law that protects the rights of women and girls during and after conflicts. It also underlines the essential role of women in the prevention of conflict, as well as in post-conflict peace building and reconstruction efforts. It aims at the integration of gender considerations into all aspects of security work. This includes participation in conflict resolution and peace processes, peacekeeping operations, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration, security sector reform, protection and rights of women. It also encourages increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions, as well as consultation with local and international women's groups.

1.2   Since 2000, four additional UNSC Resolutions have been adopted: UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889 and UNSCR 1960. UNSCR 1820, adopted in June 2008, complements UNSCR 1325 by focusing on the prevention and response to sexual violence in situations of armed and post conflict. UNSCR 1888, adopted in 2009, reinforces UNSCR 1820, notably through the appointment of a UN Special Representative to advocate the ending of sexual violence in armed conflict. UNSCR 1889, also adopted in 2009, builds upon UNSCR 1325 by improving the monitoring and reporting component and highlighting the importance of resource allocation. Finally, UNSCR 1960, adopted in 2010, calls for parties to armed conflict to make specific time-bound commitments to combat sexual violence.


2.1.  NATO's partnerships make a clear and valued contribution to Allied security, to international security more broadly and to defending and advancing the values of individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, on which the Alliance is based. Commitment to these values remains fundamental to NATO's partnership policy. Allies and partners remain committed to fulfil in good faith the obligations of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

2.2   NATO and its Partners are committed to further implementation of UNSCR 1325 and to ensure that their actions cover the four United Nations pillars of UNSCR 1325 – prevention, protection, participation, and relief and recovery. At the national level, the Resolutions are supported by National Action Plans and other initiatives. At the multinational level, NATO and its Partners have collaborated with a number of International Organisations, such as the EU, UN and the OSCE, in contributing to the international community's efforts in support of the principles of UNSCR 1325 and its related Resolutions, and have advocated a broad approach to this issue of global security. There is a firm recognition that women have a crucial role to play in dealing successfully with the security challenges of the 21st century.


3.1  Implementation of UNSCR 1325 should be seen in the context of NATO's wider policy objectives of enhancing security and stability. In order to achieve this goal, the aim is for the principles of the Resolution to become an integral and complementary part of NATO's corporate identity, in the way it plans and conducts its everyday business and organises its civilian and military structures. Moreover, as a recognised element for the success of missions and operations, it will be integrated into all relevant aspects of NATO-led operations and missions.

3.2  The NATO/EAPC policy is the overall framework for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions by NATO with its Partners.


4.1  Taking into account the 4 United Nations pillars for UNSCR 1325 (prevention, protection, participation, and relief and recovery), the overall strategy for implementation of the policy is based on a practical approach, drawing upon both internal and external resources to NATO. It builds on a six track approach: 1) mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 in policies, programmes and documentation; 2) cooperating with International Organisations, NGOs and civil society; 3) operations; 4) education and training; 5) public diplomacy; and 6) national initiatives.

Mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 in policies, programmes and documentation

4.1.1   Mainstreaming in policies, programmes and documentation means the inclusion of UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions in NATO’s everyday business at all levels. The aim is to yield a change in mindsets and behaviours, so that consideration is given to the impact and benefits of the Resolutions in the daily work of the organisation, its staff and committees. To that end, relevant decision-making bodies are responsible for taking forward implementation in their own domains of expertise in Allied and Partnership fora, as appropriate.

Cooperation with International Organisations, NGOs and civil society

4.1.2  Cooperation with International Organisations and civil society is in the spirit of the Alliance's comprehensive approach to security. In that framework, initiatives are undertaken to engage with other International Organisations, NGOs and civil society on the implementation of UNSCR 1325, including exchanges of information, best practices and expertise, as well as practical cooperation.


4.1.3  Beyond the general principle to protect women, effective integration of gender perspectives in operations has demanded a comprehensive and robust policy. Following approval by the North Atlantic Council of the NATO/EAPC policy on implementing UNSCR 1325 in December 2007, Bi-SC directive 40-1 was issued in September 2009. To support interoperability, this Directive is consistent with United Nations and European Union policies, but also with existing national action plans. While UNSCR 1325 is the legal authority for signatories, the Directive is core to integrating gender perspectives in NATO military organisations and operations. In addition, Heads of State and Government approved in November 2010 a concrete NATO Action Plan on mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 into NATO-led operations and missions. It covers a wide range of detailed activities regarding issues such as: crisis management, operational planning and exercises; training and education for operational aspects; operational execution; and reports and reporting systems. This Action Plan addresses the contributions of both NATO entities and nations to NATO-led operations and missions.

Education and training

4.1.4  Education and training is an essential tool to raise awareness of UNSCR 1325 for civilian and military personnel, and to contribute to the effectiveness of operations and missions. It is therefore reflected in NATO's Action Plan on themainstreamingof UNSCR 1325 in NATO's operations and missions. Concrete support may be provided to nations to help them implement a UNSCR 1325-based programme and to complement their existing programmes, as well as to NATO International Staff through the Executive Management Training and Development Services. Education and training is also an essential key to fostering changes in mindset and behaviour. NATO and national education and training programmes, including pre-deployment scenario-based training and defence reform efforts, can provide valuable contributions to assist in achieving those goals. The development of such programmes is a long-term investment.

Public diplomacy

4.1.5   NATO has adopted a public diplomacy strategy, taking into account the strong influence of the media on the perception of the role of women in society, culture, the military and public life. The main goals are to: raise awareness of NATO's policies on gender mainstreaming in its structures, operations and programmes; and to reinforce the Alliance's message of commitment to implementing the principles of UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions. To that end, the strategy has a dual approach: 1) communicating through the NATO TV Channel on Internet (NITV), the NATO website and digital outreach tools; and 2) engaging through direct exchanges, visits to NATO HQ, discussions and events to build long-lasting relationships and partnerships.

4.1.6   National initiatives are essential to success, including through the development and implementation of National Action Plans (NAPs) and other strategic national initiatives. The NATO/EAPC policy, its supporting military Directives and the NATO Action Plan on mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 in NATO-led operations and missions are also a framework to assist nations in adapting their national policies and programmes. Defence Reform efforts are an important aspect of this process, including the promotion of women's participation in national armed forces. In the future, the expertise of the Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative countries and partners across the globe will be a welcome contribution to the implementation of the policy.


5.1   The NATO/EAPC policy will be reviewed every 2 years through the Political and Partnerships Committee and approved by the Council. High level commitment and accountability are essential to success. The Secretary General's annual report on implementation of the policy will be issued to the public in the Autumn. The Council, Ministers and Heads of State and Government should also remain appraised of progress together with partner nations.

5.2   The policy is supported by an Implementation Plan, which provides the overall framework for NATO's practical implementation of the Resolutions with its Partners. It identifies goals, concrete actions, action authorities (IS, IMS, NATO Military Authorities, Allied and Partner nations), measurement of progress, timelines and status of work. This Plan is the tool for reporting on progress in the six tracks of the NATO/EAPC policy. It will be reviewed on an annual basis in June.