UNA-UK were delighted to hear that Executive Director Natalie Samarasinghe was one of three winners of the inaugural 'New Shape Prize', an award from the Global Challenges Foundation for the best ideas for reforming global governance.
The Foundation was set up by financial analyst and author Laszlo Szombatfalvy, who moved to Sweden as a refugee from Hungary in 1956. 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. At the end of the process the authors of the three best ideas were selected as the inaugural prize winners.
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 decisionmaking 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.
Watch this space for more information on how UNA-UK intends to further develop these ideas.
Photo: the winners with Global Challenges Foundation founder Laszlo Szombatfalvy