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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Peace and Security

The goal of the United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security is as simple as it is profound: to empower half the world’s population as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by war, violence or insecurity. The United States believes that achieving this goal is critical to our national and global security.

Deadly conflicts can be more effectively avoided, and peace can be best forged and sustained when women’s lives are protected, their experiences are considered, and their voices are heard in all aspects of peacemaking and peace-building in their countries.

Our National Action Plan sets the course that the United States government will take to accelerate, routinize, and better coordinate our efforts to advance women’s inclusion in peacemaking, protect women from sexual and gender based violence in areas of conflict, and ensure equal access to assistance, relief and recovery resources. The plan builds upon the goals for gender integration described in the National Security Strategy of the United States, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review and the Quadrennial Defense Review. It is guided by the following five principles:

  • First, the protection and engagement of women and girls as agents of peace and stability will be central the United States’ efforts to prevent, respond to, and resolve conflict, and to rebuild societies.
  • Second, the United States’ efforts on women, peace and security will complement and enhance existing initiatives to advance gender equality and empowerment, and address the needs of vulnerable populations in crisis and conflict environments.
  • Third, in executing this policy, the United States will be guided by the principle of inclusion, seeking out the views of a wide variety of stakeholders – girls and women, boys and men, members of vulnerable populations.
  • Fourth, in order to maximize the impact of this Plan, the United States will ensure that activities in support of Women, Peace and Security are coordinated among agencies of the government, and enhanced by engagement with international partners and civil society organizations.
  • Fifth, U.S. agencies will be held accountable for the implementation of the policies and initiatives endorsed in this plan.

Above all, the National Action Plan expresses the United States’ unqualified commitment to incorporating women and girls fully into our diplomatic, security, and development efforts – not simply as beneficiaries, but as agents of peace, reconciliation, development, growth, and stability.


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