Australian Civil Society Coalition on Women, Peace and Security’s Submission to the Foreign Policy White Paper (2017)
Australia needs a transformational foreign policy, particularly on issues of peace and security, if we want to “deal with the world as it is” and influence the way the world responds to tension and all forms of violent conflict. The advancement of women’s right, the achievement of gender equality and ensuring the participation of women in conflict prevention and all peace and post-conflict processes will bring about a more balanced approach to addressing and preventing recurring conflicts, as well as peacebuilding efforts.
The Australian Government has taken a global leadership role on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, and in 2012 launched the inaugural Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) 2012 – 2018 (‘NAP’). Australian foreign policy must be aligned to the agreed and binding principles of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda under international law, including the suite of eight United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) on WPS and should prioritise an approach which reframes peace and security from a focus on defence to a focus on conflict prevention and human security (including the economic and social dimensions of security).
This submission recommends the Australia government to identify WPS as a foreign policy priority and that it fully incorporates the pillars of the WPS agenda into the strategic planning of Australia’s foreign policy. These pillars are: prevention, participation, protection, relief and recovery, and mainstreaming.