| | |
Homepage | login or create an account

PM Delighted At Clark's UN Success

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
John Key
John Key

Wellington, March 27 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key says he's delighted to hear of his predecessor Helen Clark's successful application to head the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed from New York this morning that Miss Clark was his preferred candidate for the role, which puts her in charge of a multi-billion dollar budget.

Her appointment still needs to be approved by the General Assembly, and Miss Clark has said she would not comment until then, but Mr Key said this morning he was delighted to hear the news.

"The Government fully endorsed her application for this position, which will make her the number three in the UN.

"This will be the highest diplomatic position held by a New Zealander, and I think we can all take pride in her significant achievement," he said.

Mr Key, who has been publicly expressing confidence in Miss Clark's ability to carry out such a role, said she was a highly regarded New Zealander who had international credibility.

"Her leadership experience will help ensure she can mobilise resources and represent the UNDP effectively."

New Zealand works with the UNDP on skills development and government capacity-building programmes in the Pacific, Asia and Latin America, and is also an active member of UNDP's executive board.

A statement from the UN this morning said Miss Clark was selected for her outstanding qualifications and numerous accomplishments in her long career.

She had the needed leadership and international recognition that would allow her as the new administrator to build on the role.

Labour Leader Phil Goff said Miss Clark would do a great job.

"She has the leadership and managerial skills, the integrity and competency and international networks to meet the considerable demands of the job," Mr Goff said.

"Helen's achievements as a Member of Parliament, Minister of the Crown, Opposition Leader and Prime Minister are considerable, but her new role will take her on to a different stage."

A spokesman from Mr Goff's office said it was too early to start discussing who might be put forward as a replacement for Miss Clark when her Mt Albert seat became vacant.

Mike Moore, the last New Zealander to hold a high-profile international position when he was head of the World Trade Organisation, said the UNDP had problems in many countries because of the "appalling politicians" running them.

"There are bad guys who take money...I've dealt with a lot of these villains and I think Helen will deal to some of them," he said on One News.

For Miss Clark it will be the culmination of a political career that began in 1981 when she was elected MP for Mt Albert, the seat she still holds.

She was always interested in foreign affairs and one of her first tasks in Parliament was running the committee which drafted the anti-nuclear legislation.

After becoming prime minister in 1999 she made many official overseas trips, meeting world leaders and gaining a reputation for her grasp of international affairs.

The UNDP was established in 1965 and among its aims are reducing poverty, halting the spread of HIV/Aids, improving environmental protection and raising the standards of governance internationally.

NZPA WGT co gt

About : Politics

Find the latest politics and election news, 'how to' guides and party policies on Guide2Politics.


Your Questions. Independent Answers.