Since 2000, the United Nations (UN) has taken several important steps to recognize sexual violence as a “tactic of war” and affirm the important role that women play in preventing and resolving conflicts. The adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) in 2000 and four subsequent resolutions (1820, 1888, 1889, and 1960) have provided the foundation and mandate for WPS. As a result, the United States Government developed a National Action Plan (NAP) on WPS, which GPOI is playing a key role in implementing through its peacekeeping capacity building activities.

The goal of the NAP is to achieve U.S. national security objectives by including women as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by war, violence, and insecurity. In order to help achieve this goal, GPOI has pursued the following efforts:

  1. Encouraging the participation of female peacekeepers in GPOI training events, with 3,342 female peacekeepers trained by the end of 2012;

  2. Facilitating lessons learned and best practices in integrating women into contingents;

  3. Supporting the development and implementation of training, guidance, and other operational tools for peacekeepers on WPS-related topics;

  4. Training peacekeepers on WPS-related topics;

  5. Assisting in strengthening the UN’s, regional organizations’, and bilateral partners’ capacity to protect civilians – including women – in peace operations.

Though GPOI has already made significant contributions towards implementing the NAP on WPS, it continues to seek further opportunities to increase and enhance the capabilities of the UN, regional governments, and troop and police contributing countries to protect civilians, including women, and to advance the inclusion of women, especially as decision-makers, in peacekeeping. GPOI contributions toward the implementation of the NAP is done in close coordination with the Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and in accordance with core program objectives as articulated in GPOI strategic and implementation guidance documents.