Implementing National Action Plans on Finance Sector

The National Action Plans on finance sector are intended to promote gender equality in the economy and reduce poverty by increasing private sector participation. This sector is characterized by large amounts of private capital and high levels of risk. In addition, this sector accounts for a substantial portion of the world’s total assets. The NAP will provide the necessary policy framework and technical assistance for countries to improve the status of women in the sector. However, it is not clear how these plans will be implemented in practice.

The United States has taken the lead by releasing the first NAP on human rights in 2016. Since then, other countries have followed suit. The U.S. released its first NAP for human rights in 2016.

A working group was formed to develop the NAP. This was an open consultation process involving states, companies, civil society, NHRIs, academia, and local governments. The Working Group conducted an online survey in 2014 and consulted governments on the substantive elements of a national action plan. A number of countries were consulted on the draft before it was finalized. The final document aims to guide governments on the implementation of the NAP.

While the NAP is an important document, it needs strong political commitment to implement. This is why it needs the support of a wide range of private stakeholders. But the NAP should also contain accountability features and a dispute resolution process. The Export-Import Bank has started a portal to address project concerns, but this portal does not have the necessary accountability features or dispute resolution process. To implement the NAP, the Export-Import Bank should be committed to holding public consultations and creating an accountability mechanism that is in line with international best practices.

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