United Nations flag

United Nations at LSE

Bringing together the expertise of the LSE and the work of the United Nations

Through both direct collaboration between LSE IDEAS and UN agencies and sharing the best of the LSE's work on and with the UN.


The first major collaboration between IDEAS and the UN is the UN Business and Human Security Initiative.

United Nations at LSE events and podcasts


To End A War Co-hosted with the United Nations and the Embassy of Colombia

What does it takes for a nation of 50 million to move from hatred to forgiveness, from war to peace? Listen to the panel discussion on the Colombian peace process and the future of the country.

The UN, the Private Sector, and Human Security Partnerships

To mark the launch of a new research and policy initiative on business and Human Security by LSE IDEAS, Yukio Takasu, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Human Security spoke about the role of the private sector working with governments  to address insecurity and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Pathways to Peace in Colombia LSE IDEAS - International Alert - LSE LACC Event

Joshua Mitrotti, director of Colombia’s Agency for Reintegration on the challenges and achievements of a ground-breaking approach to absorb thousands of former paramilitaries and guerrilla fighters into productive employment as part of the country’s post-conflict transition.

Strengthening Global Governance for the 21st Century

In this lecture, Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova explored the role of the United Nations in sustaining a rules-based international order in an increasingly turbulent world. 

The key to success of the Sustainable Development Goals?

This event with UN advocates Paul Polman (CEO of Unilever) and Alaa Murabit explored how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be achieved -including the crucial roles of local leadership and institutions, global businesses, and young people around the world.

Private events

LSE-BHR Company Roundtable in Madrid: a human security approach to working in complex business environments

The UN Business and Human Security Initiative at LSE IDEAS and Business and Human Rights (BHR) held a roundtable at the EOI Business School in Madrid, as part of a global series of stakeholder meetings planned by the initiative.

Representatives from companies in different industrial sectors - including Endesa, Repsol, Prosegur and Gas Natural Fenosa - discussed the value for Spanish business leaders of a human security approach and how to best work in complex, conflict-affected environments. For example, Mikel Berraondo from Zabala Innovation Consulting gave his perspective on working with indigenous communities and the particular challenges this can pose to companies on the ground.

Corporate Peace: private sector strategies for conflict prevention, peacebuilding and sustainable development LSE IDEAS - WOSCAP Event

This roundtable examined research findings from the European Commission research project ‘Whole of Society Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding' and other studies on public-private partnerships to explore the possibilities for both policymakers and companies to work more constructively together for the benefit of both. 

From Iraq to the New Cold War: Hans Blix 

Hans Blix achieved international prominence in his role as Head of the UN team which failed to discover WMD in Iraq in 2003. At this event, Blix explored lessons from the past and a way forward for the future of weapons control in a world that has become no safer.

UN Business and Human Security Initiative

How can business protect and empower individuals and communities in areas affected by conflict and crisis? This initiative aims to develop a model framework of Human Security Business Partnership to encourage collaboration between the private sector, the public sector, and civil society to address a wide range of security needs on the ground - working towards the UN’s Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

LSE IDEAS will bring together academics and practitioners from international companies and NGOs to develop this innovative framework, and partner with UN agencies to initially implement it in different development schemes in Colombia. UN partners include: 


In Colombia, LSE IDEAS and the UN will work with global companies, communities, government, and civil society in applying the partnership framework to analyse private sector contributions to the peace process and support business engagement with conflict-affected communities. After its testing phase, the framework implementation will be replicated in different development schemes in Colombia.


Implementation of Human Security Business Partnerships will be supported by an Expert Working Group of academics and practitioners. They will analyse evidence from the framework trial in Liberia, develop additional applications in post-conflict regions, and generate recommendations for policy and practice changes for the UN, national policymakers, and business leaders.

LSE IDEAS will also host the global secretariat  of the Human Security Business Initiative to support the development of the HSBP Framework and encourage business and government engagement with human security.

For more on the role of the private sector in post-conflict reconstruction, read this journal article by Mary Martin and Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic of the UN Business and Human Security Initiative (subscription may be required).

What is Human Security?

Human Security is an alternative approach to traditional security which is people-centred, prevention orientated and context specific. The idea combines security, development, and human rights. 

Human security seeks to protect people against multiple and interconnected threats which affect the vital elements of everyday life. It is based on the fundamental principle that people are entitled to freedom from fear, freedom from want, dignity, and an equal opportunity to enjoy all their rights and fully develop their human potential.

For more information, read the IDEAS background paper on Human Security (pdf).


The UN Business and Human Security Initiative is supported by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS), established in 1999 to finance projects that translate the human security approach into practical actions and provide concrete and sustainable benefits to vulnerable people and communities threatened in their survival, livelihood and dignity.

The Human Security Business Initiative is also supported by LSE's Knowledge Exchange and Impact (KEI) fund, The Rockefeller FoundationSwissPeaceInternational AlertESSEC-Irene, Business and Human Rights, and BuildUp

United Nations at LSE People

Mary Martin is director of the UN Business and Human Security Initiative. Her research focuses on the role of the private sector in conflict and peacebuilding and private security in the international system. She was co-ordinator of the Human Security Study Group 2006-1010, reporting to the High Representative of the European Union. She holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. 

Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic specialises in the political economy of conflict and post conflict reconstruction, post-communist transition, civil wars, political economy of policy making and regional development. She has acted as an expert to the UNDP, the World Bank and the European Commission. Dr Bojicic- Dzelilovic holds PhD in Economics and MA in Economic Development.

Lisa ten Brinke supports the project through research assistance, event organisation, and the building of a network of relevant stakeholders. She holds an MSc in International Relaions from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


LSE IDEAS lseideas

TUESDAY 27 November: 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Old Building. LSE IDEAS' Mick Cox will host a symposium on the Trump Preside… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

3 days ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

LSE IDEAS lseideas

TONIGHT: 6:30pm to 8:00pm - Old Theatre. LSE Ideas @lsehistory and @RoyalEconSoc host a public lecture looking at t… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

3 days ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

Contact us


Mary Martin, Director of the UN Business and Human Security Initiative M.C.Martin@lse.ac.uk

LSE IDEAS e-mail ideas@lse.ac.uk

Address View on Google maps

LSE IDEAS, 9th floor, Towers 1 & 3, Clement's Inn, London, WC2A 2AZ