Setting aside personal and political

Prime Minister John Key has announced that the government is nominating Helen Clark for the top bureaucratic job in the world – United Nations secretary-general:

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the New Zealand Government is nominating Helen Clark for the position of the United Nations Secretary-General.

“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,” says Mr Key.

“There are major global challenges facing the world today and the United Nations needs a proven leader who can be pragmatic and effective.

“Coming from New Zealand, Helen Clark is well placed to bridge divisions and get results. She is the best person for the job.”

Helen Clark was the Prime Minister of New Zealand for three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2008 and has worked as the Administrator of the UN Development Programme for the past seven years.

“Helen Clark has a vast amount of experience in international affairs which will be hard for other candidates to match. She’s a great listener and communicator, and I know she will make a difference if elected.” . . .

There was no love lost between the former and current PM when they were political rivals.

But since she first announced her intention to seek a job in the UN he has backed her and both have put any political and personal differences aside.

The UN is good in theory but often fails to live up to its promise in practice.

The Development Programme (UNDP)’s official report, which Clark led, said much of its annual US$5.7 billion (NZ$6.8 billion) budget is only remotely connected to ending global poverty.

Whether or not the criticism is fair, it highlights the size of the challenge facing the UN and its agencies.

It and they are far from perfect.

But in spite of its failings and inadequacies, there are benefits in having the 193 member states together attempting to find solutions to many, often long-standing, problems.

And there could be benefits for New Zealand to have a New Zealander heading it.

That’s why personal and political differences should be set aside to help the former PM get the post.

I disagree with a lot of her political views but I think she is well qualified for the position of Secretary-General.


2 Responses to Setting aside personal and political

  1. Andrei says:

    I don’t think she is a player in this game Ele – an also ran is my pick for the outcome

    The only way through for her is a deadlock among the five permanent members of the Security Council and she comes through as some sort of compromise

    My money would be on Irina Bokova – a Bulgarian who is the current head of Unesco or perhaps the Slovenian Danilo Türk who was President of the General assembly for a while but I think Irina Bokova’s gender and facility with languages will tip the balance


  2. Andrei says:

    Maybe Helen Clark’s odds are shortening

    This story does not exist in a vacuum but has been planted by Whitehall: Putin ally in UNESCO crony row is favourite to take top job at United Nations when Ban Ki-moon steps down at the end of this year

    It is not real journalism despite being in the paper, it is British Government agitprop

    On paper Irina Bokova seems the most obvious choice but then there is geopolitics…

    But then again will Russia and China accept an English speaking monoglot candidate from the “five eyes“?

    Of course the title of this post could be read as being ironical 🙂 because ultimately the choice for the new Secretary General will be both personal and political


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