How is Romania implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda?

WIIS Romania keeps the track of how UNSCR1325/WPS Agenda is implemented in Romania.

NATO’s WPS Global Database

When was the Romanian NAP adopted?

The first Romanian National Action Plan (NAP) to implement UNSCR1325 (Women, Peace and Security) was approved by the Romanian Government on July 16, 2020 by HG 561/2020. It was subsequently published in MONITORUL OFICIAL no. 667 on July 28, 2020, and it came into force by that date. See http://legislatie.just.ro/Public/DetaliiDocument/228446

The full text of the document representing the Romanian NAP can be found here (Romanian Language): http://legislatie.just.ro/Public/DetaliiDocumentAfis/228447

Comparing to other states, the Romanian NAP was adopted late, in the same year of the 20th anniversary of UNSCR1325. The work on the Romanian NAP started in 2018 when “The Gender Management Office” within the Romanian National Ministry of Defense was created. Some other states have been more eager to create and put into practice their national NAP/NAPs. For instance, Denmark was the first country to launch its first NAP in 2005, the United States started to work on their NAP in 2011 and the Republic of Moldova approved the NAP in 2018. Presently, some countries such as Denmark or the United Kingdom have already adopted their 3rd or 4th NAP.

Since 2005, U.N. Member States have started to work on the Resolution by developing government-led National Action Plans (NAP) or other national level strategies.

At the level of national defense system, public order and national security, another step previously undertaken to implement UNSCR 1325 was, according to the Romanian document, the elaboration of the Plan to Implement UNSCR 1325/2000 “Women, Peace and Security” and the related Resolutions within the Romanian Ministry of National Defence in 2014 for the next ten years (2014-2024). The elaboration of the above mentioned Plan is not quite equivalent with a National Action Plan and does not have the legal value and power of the document released in July 2020. The 2020 Romanian NAP is the first legal and policy framework to recognize the provisions of the UNSCR 1325.

The Romanian National Ministry of Defence offers an Analysis of the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 in Romania.

What are the major factors that hindered the launching of the National Actions Plans worldwide and in Romania?

Moving from talk to commitment, commitment to action, and action to impact is not easy.”

Since its adoption in 2000, the lack of national political will and insufficient funding were major obstacles identified by the UN that hindered the implementation of UNSCR 1325 worldwide.

In 2019, the UN Security Council, “Recognizing the progress made as well as the opportunity and need for far greater implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, remaining deeply
by persisting barriers to the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000)
and the frequent under-representation of women in many formal processes and bodies
related to the maintenance of international peace and security, the relatively low
number of women in senior positions in political, peace and security-related national,
regional and international institutions, the lack of adequate gender-sensitive
humanitarian responses and support for women’s leadership roles in these settings,
insufficient financing for Women, Peace and Security, and the resulting detrimental
impact on the maintenance of international peace and security..”, passed UNSCR 2493, that urges U.N. member states to commit to implementing the nine previously adopted Women, Peace, and Security Resolutions.

In Romania`s case, the major factors that hindered the work on the NAP were : the lack of the political will of the previous governments to implement UNSCR1325, political instability (the frequent change of the government in power and constant political strife) and other priorities that dominated the political agenda. Also, the lack of experts in the field and non-existent media coverage of UNSCR 1325 impacted the launch of the NAP earlier. For many decision-makers and the general public UNSCR 1325 (WPS) is still unknown.

What is the National Action Plan (NAP) ?

The National Action Plan is considered to be a key instrument to implement of UNSCR 1325 worldwide.The NAP assists a country to identify its priorities and resources, to determine its responsibilities, and to commit the government of the country to take action.

When it designed, each NAP should reflect the priorities and goals of the country for which the NAP is conceived. Strong cooperation between the government of the country, civil society and other actors to identify these priorities and goals is recommended. Although there is not a standard NAP design nor a perfect one, the existent literature in the field can assists experts in the NAP process.

UNSCR1325 applies to any efforts to maintain and promote peace and security, not only to countries that are directly affected by armed conflict

NAPs are considered to have a high-impact when both the process (how the NAP is designed) and the content (what the NAP aims to achieve) meet some standards.

What makes a high impact NAP and why is important to have a good one?

Since 2005, when the first NAP was launched, experts have noticed that “some plans aren’t properly resourced, lack political support, or emphasize priorities that aren’t customized to the local context. Others are great on paper but lack effective coordination or accountability mechanisms”.

Miki Jacevic, a NAP expert from Inclusive Security, identifies four elements that create a high-impact NAP:

  1. an inclusive design process and an established coordination system for implementation;
  2. strong and sustained political will;
  3. identified and allocated implementation resources;
  4. a results-based monitoring and evaluation plan.

“High-impact NAPs are also those that seek to breakdown traditional divides between government and civil society; foreign and domestic government agencies and policies; and between “hard” security issues and those of development and human rights. NAPs that have done this with success have modelled more inclusive design processes. While this may seem burdensome, it is better reflective of the spirit of the WPS agenda and the sites in which it operates. After all, the root causes of conflict will not be addressed if it is seen simply as a government-only responsibility, or a foreign policy issue. It requires recognizing the cleavages and overlaps between geographies, agendas, and politics.” (Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the OSCE Region, p.16)

A good NAP translates in good results. Those countries strongly committed to WPS Agenda are constantly revising and improving their NAP. Denmark did that 4 times.

What is the role of women in the NAP process?

During the NAP process, women should be regarded as agents of change not as victims.

What are the participants in the NAP process?

An inclusive design process involves that the various government ministries, and agencies responsible for the NAP are represented in both its creation and its implementation, including civil society members.

When it come to multi-agency coordination structures that are commonly used to implement NAPs, Romania opted for the vertical model of coordination instead of horizontal or oversight model.

According to HG 561/2020, The Romanian Ministry of National Defense has assumed the role of integrator of the NAP and for this purpose, in 2018, the Gender Management Office was created and the GENAD (Gender Advisor) was appointed for the field of WPS, which ensures liaison with international organizations and coordinates the activities of national institutions with such responsibilities.

Other goverment ministries and agencies aasigend to implement the NAP are: The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs and The National Agency for Equal Opportunities (ANES).

NGOs included both in the NAP design and implementation but not sure if the partnership with civil society is formal or informal or what are their assignments.

If we look at the NAP framework as a “strategy of change” then we should ask: what is the outcome of the Romanian NAP after 4 years of its implementation? What are the actions undertaken? What are the resources?

The Romanian NAP is conceived around 4 major objectives to be accomplished by the end of 2023 (the NAP is conceived for 2020-2023). For each of these objectives are provided measures to be taken at the level of the ministries and agencies participating in the NAP process.

Objective no. 1 To integrate gender perspective in defense and security policies.

Objective no. 2 To significantly increase women`s representation and participation in peace negociations, mediation processes and peace keeping missions.

Objective no. 3 To prevent and combat all forms of gender based discriminations, haressment and sexual violence.

Objective no. 4 To colaborate with civil society during the process of WPS Agenda Implementation.

Each of the above mentioned objectives are accompanied by set of measures.

When it comes to financial resources, no budget is speciefied.

Monitoring and Evaluation

According to the HG 561/2020, the monitoring of the applications of the NAP provisions will be ensured by the National Implementation Group. The group is formed by representatives from the following Romanian institutions: The Ministry of National Defense (MApN), The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI), The National Agency for Equal Opportunities (ANES), The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), The Special Telecommunications Service (STS), The Romanian Protection and Guard Service (SPP), The National Administration of Penitentiaries (ANP)

The evaluations of the NAP will be performed annually (until the end of February of each year). Also, a mid-term evaluation of the NAP will take place two years after its launch.

The employment of female personnel in July 2019 in the national system of defense, public order and national security:

In the Ministry of National Defense the percentage of female personnel (military and civilian) is 23.69% and is distributed as follows: officers 2.53%, military foremen and non-commissioned officers 2.66%, professional graduate soldiers 1.27%, pupils and students 2%, contract civilian personnel and civil servants 15.23% .

Within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 47% of the institution’s diplomatic and consular staff represent women, of which 27% hold the position of head of diplomatic mission or consular office of Romania. Also, 52% of the people holding management positions in the Central Administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are women.

At the Ministry of Internal Affairs: female staff is about 17.40% of the total employed in the institution.

In The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) is 36.03%, up 0.9% on the previous year.

As for the percentage of female staffing at The Special Telecommunications Service (STS) level, of the total staff, women occupy a percentage of 51.17% of the total number of employees.

In The Romanian Protection and Guard Service (SPP) is 15.2% of the total staff of the institution are women.

The female staff from The National Administration of Penitentiaries (ANP) represents 24.65% of the total staff.

At the level of the Ministry of National Defense, the number of existing management positions (decision grades 1 + 2) is 33, all of which are occupied. Of these, 93.9% are occupied by men and 6.1% by women. At decision-making level 1, the 2 positions are occupied exclusively by men. At decision-making level 2, out of the 31 positions, 6.5% are belong to women and 93.5% to men.

In the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the number of decision-making positions of grades 1 + 2 is 58, of which 7 are vacant. The 51 positions occupied are distributed by sex as follows: 25.5% women and 74.5% men. At decision level 1, men occupy 80.6% positions and women 19.4%. At decision level 2, the difference between the sexes in the occupation of the positions decreases and the women occupy 35% of the positions, and the men 65% of them.

The information presented above is public and was released by the Romanian Government in 2020, once the Romanian NAP was launched.

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