Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has entered the race of the next UN secretary-general. The New Zealand government is nominating Helen Clark for the position, Prime Minister John Key said.
There are seven other candidates including 3 women vying for the post this time. UNESCO chief Irina Bokova of Bulgaria and former High Commissioner of Refugees, Antonio Guterres of Portugal are also among the candidates.
John Key said in his statement, “Having served as the prime minister of New Zealand for nine years and held one of the top jobs in the United Nations for the past seven, Helen Clark has the right mix of skills and experience for the job.”
Helen Clark told One News that leading New Zealand equipped her for the UN’s top job. She said, “it’s hard to take New Zealand out of a girl.”
She also stated in an interview, “I am putting myself forward based on proven leadership experience over close to three decades, both in my own country and here at the United Nations.”
According to Mail Online, she cited Nelson Mandela as her biggest political inspiration. She summed up her achievement as Prime Minister and said, “I believe that as PM, I contributed to making NZ a fairer, better place to live in.”
Sixty-six-year-old Clark announced her candidature for the top UN post after months of speculations. She led New Zealand’s center-left Labour Party from 1999 to 2008 for three consecutive terms. She also has been the first woman administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) since 2009. Clark has been overseeing the world body’s vast development agenda, reported news.com.au.
The United Nation has been criticised for its failure to reform. and the critics are arguing that it is ill-adapted to handle the evolving global crisis. Clark addressed the short comings during one of her interview and said that she was “extremely keen” on changing the UN’s approach to a more effective one in handling a “different kind of conflict.”