Balancing priorities: Lessons from Iraq, Jordan and Palestine for NAP-1325 drafting teams
An Analysis of the Text of the Iraq, Jordan and Palestine National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security.
Three National Action Plans on WPS (NAPs-WPS), in addition to an emergency NAP-WPS in Iraq1, have recently been adopted in the Arab States region: Iraq (2014-2018), the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (2018- 2021), and Palestine (2017-2019),2 while the League of Arab States (LAS) has also adopted a ‘Regional Strategy’3 on WPS. Further developments within the region are expected: Iraq is in the process of evaluat- ing its 2014-2018 NAP-WPS, and beginning the process of developing its NAP-WPS II; the Governments of Lebanon and Tunisia are in the process of finalising action plans; while there are calls from women’s rights and human rights actors in additional other countries across the region for the further adoption of NAPs-WPS. The specific processes of development and implementation of these NAPs-WPS have varied. The Jordan NAP-WPS process is noteworthy for its degree of consultation; it was passed after two years of dialogues in all governorates of the Kingdom. The Palestine NAP-WPS is unique in its efforts to address the impact of occupation, while the Iraq NAP is hailed both as the first in the region, and for the cross-sector governance mechanisms set up to support and moni- tor its implementation.
To support the ongoing development of actionable and effective NAPs-WPS in the region, it is important to analyse and draw lessons from the three first- generation action plans to inform those that are coming after them. This paper presents the findings of a review of the text of the three existing action plans of Iraq, Jordan and Palestine. The review analyses the NAP-WPS planning documents in order to document areas of good practice that can then inform the future development and adoption of NAP-WPS in the Arab States region. The review is limited to an analysis the text of the documents, and does not include an analysis of their development, financing, monitor- ing frameworks or implementation as a guidance tool specifically on NAP-WPS drafting for NAP-WPS drafters.
The Arab States have seen peace and security issues at the forefront of the regional agenda since the advent of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’. To this end, political and humanitarian crises have become intertwined, with political crisis driving humanitarian crisis – and in some contexts, issues of climate change fuelling con- flict. To resolve these conflicts, political talks remain ongoing in Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Palestine – and large-scale humanitarian responses operate within and around these countries to address the immediate needs created by political crisis.
Iraq and Palestine are countries that are witnessing active conflict within their borders. This is not the case in Jordan, where any internal peace and security challenges relate primarily to social tensions between refugee and host community populations and to the refugee population that it is hostingthreats by violent extremists. Each country is experiencing the impacts of regional insecurities, whether internally or exter- nally located, in ways very specific to each context and responses will be tailored accordingly.
The ‘Women, Peace and Security agenda,’ founded by UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) in 2000 and followed by seven additional resolutions, outlines UN, state and partner obligations for ensuring that the needs and priorities of women and girls impacted by conflict are addressed, and that peace is brokered in an inclusive and sustainable manner. Specific WPS issues arise for women and girls in the Arab States region. The LAS Regional Strategy on WPS highlights that women in the region encounter: gendered violence, including sexual violence perpetrated by armed actors in conflicts taking place in the region; lack of access to basic services such as education and health; arbitrary detention and experiences of physical and psychological harm while in detention; refugee status that contributes to vulnerabil- ity to harm, lack of basic service provision and insecure status in asylum countries.