How can the world manage increasingly difficult and more complex global problems? That was the challenge laid down by the Global Challenges Foundation, and UNA-UK Executive Director Natalie Samarasinghe was one of three winners of the inaugural ‘New Shape Prize’ they awarded.
The purpose of the New Shape Prize was to find new models of global cooperation capable of handling catastrophic risks. Over 2,700 proposals from over 120 countries were submitted. The final 14 and 200 other experts and practitioners, including Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and Director-General of the UN in Geneva, Michael Møller, met in Stockholm for a three day forum and workshops to further develop the ideas.
Natalie Samarasinghe’s idea involved reimagining the United Nations as a body of last resort for the world’s most serious peace and security and human rights challenges, by finding ways to transfer its other functions to stakeholders such as NGOs and businesses. Using models found in the International Labour Organisation and UNAIDS as inspiration, it suggested ways in which civil society and the private sector could be bought in to UN decision making processes. This would increase the transparency and democratic accountability of the UN, and of ongoing private sector and civil society efforts to deliver global solutions. Her presentation is embedded below.
At the end of the process her idea was selected to win one of the inaugural prizes.