The meeting will be recorded and the recording will be circulated afterwards.
Guest Speaker: Natalie Samarasinghe
Executive Director – United Nations Association-UK
Currently on sabbatical and working at the UN in New York as Chief of Strategy, Office of the Special Adviser on the Preparations for the Commemorations of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations
As we approach the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations under the banner “the future we want, the UN we need”, we reflect on the complex challenges facing our world, including cross-border health pandemics, economic shocks, inequality, climate instability, and threats to peace and security, and bring forward a call to action. Talking about what the UN system can do for us and the changes required is important. An even more critical challenge is to engage stakeholders from within and outside the world body to co-create partnerships and pathways to the future we fervently desire and a United Nations that inspires and serves all humanity.
How can we harness our collective strength among governments, global civil society, UN agencies, and the business community to design the Future We Want, The UN We Need?
Natalie will share with us all the above issues and especially her experiences of working with governments and diplomats and dealing with the complexities of diplomatic maneuvering towards leading to the agreement of the Final Text Preparations for the UN75th Anniversary.
Natalie Samarasinghe is Executive Director of the United Nations Association – UK (UNA-UK), where she has worked since 2006. She is the first woman to hold this role. In this capacity, Natalie works closely with UNA-UK's Board of Trustees on the Association's strategy and policy positioning. She provides analysis on international relations and institutions, and leads the UNA-UK team in its campaigning, advocacy, outreach, fundraising and education activities. She speaks and writes regularly on UN issues, and has overall responsibility for UNA-UK's profile and impact.
Prior to joining UNA-UK, Natalie worked in various roles in the public, private and education sectors, including for the University of Oxford. She is a trustee of the Association for Citizenship Teaching, a member of the Executive Committee of the World Federation of UNAs, a member of the Steering Committee for the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect and an advisor to the Board of the Sri Lanka Campaign. In 2013, she co-founded the 1 for 7 Billion campaign, which seeks a fair, open and inclusive process to select the UN Secretary-General. In 2018, her submission was one of three to be awarded the Global Challenges Foundation 'New Shape Prize' to reshape global governance.
She has degrees in human rights and modern history from the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics.
We look forward to many of you joining us via Zoom virtual meeting and making your contribution to the debate.