Ex-NZ Premier to Run for UN Top Job

Ex-NZ Premier to Run for UN Top JobEx-NZ Premier to Run for UN Top Job

Former New Zealand premier Helen Clark has ended months of speculation by announcing her candidacy to become the next UN secretary-general.

In an interview with BBC, she said she would like to reform the security council by making Germany, Japan, India and Brazil permanent members, adding that two African states might also become permanent members to reflect 21st-century realities.

Clark is the current head of the UN’s Development Program, BBC reported.

She argues that she has the right mix of proven experience to take over from Ban Ki-moon who retires in December. She says the UN needs a new set of tools to face modern peace and security issues.

Three other women are vying to become the UN’s first female secretary-general. Four men are also candidates. There have so far been nine post holders, all men.

Earlier, the former prime minister told AFP that she was putting herself forward because of her proven leadership experience over nearly 30 years both in New Zealand and at the UN.

Other candidates for the secretary-general position include UNESCO chief Irina Bokova of Bulgaria and the former high commissioner for refugees, Antonio Guterres, of Portugal.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key recommended Clark as the country’s candidate at a press conference in Wellington on Monday.

“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,” he said.

Current UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was reelected to serve a second five-year term in a vote at the UN General Assembly in New York in 2011.