Iceland adopted its first National Action Plan in 2008, updated it in 2013 for the period 2013-2016 and recently created a third NAP for the period of five years (2018-2022). The third NAP like the second revised NAP was led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with some input from civil society. The review of the second NAP by civil society contributed to the third NAP. Iceland has no recent experience of conflict and does not face any external armed threat, but is a key contributor to UN peacekeeping missions, NATO missions and provider of international aid and humanitarian assistance. As such, the Icelandic NAPs have been interpreted in a largely international way, seeking to implement UNSCR 1325 and coordinate activities related to humanitarian, diplomatic, peacekeeping and development.
Iceland has been a leader in the informal Friends of 1325 Working Group, which lobbies for the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security resolutions within the UN. Iceland has relatively high levels of gender equality and institutional protections for women’s rights. Although Iceland does not have legal protections to guarantee women’s political participation, women make up more than 40% of elected representatives. However, women’s representation decreases in traditionally masculine Ministries such as Foreign Affairs, and in leadership roles within the Icelandic Crisis Response Unit.
A key strength of the updated NAP is that it continues to recognize partnerships as a separate priority area based on the idea that partnerships have a multiplier effect. The third Icelandic National Action Plan is more specific than its predecessor but it still mostly has the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as responsible for activities. This updated NAP is constructed in the same structure as the previous NAP by consisting of four main pillars, each proposing ideal outcomes, outputs and activities in order to achieve each goal. However, the NAP of 2018 joined together prevention, protection, relief and recovery into one objective instead of separate ones as seen in the previous NAP. Finally, the update NAP, like the two previous ones, continues to fail to include any reference to disarmament.