A truly global partnership - helping the UN to do itself out of a job

: Shehara Natalie Samarasinghe

The submission tackles the UN’s outdated state-centric nature and its skewed emphasis on development work, which other actors are often better-placed to do. The model proposed brings businesses, NGOs and young people into UN governance structures, taking the ILO as a starting point. Concurrently, the UN would transfer its development-related tasks to these stakeholders, who would bid competitively for contracts. They would be incentivised to do more but also subjected to greater scrutiny as part of this process. As a result, the UN could redirect its limited resources to crucial tasks such as conflict resolution, which cannot be easily performed by others.

Natalie Samarasinghe

Natalie Samarasinghe is Executive Director of the United Nations Association – UK, where she has worked since 2006. She is the first woman to hold this role. Natalie speaks and writes regularly on UN issues, and has edited specialist publications including the SAGE Major Work on the United Nations. She serves as a trustee or adviser to a number of NGOs, including Doc Society, the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect. In 2013, she co-founded the '1 for 7 Billion' campaign to improve the selection process for the UN Secretary-General, which contributed to the most transparent and inclusive process in UN history. Prior to joining UNA-UK, Natalie worked in local government. She has degrees in Modern History from the University of Oxford and in Human Rights from the London School of Economics.