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New Zealand Prime Minister supports Helen Clark for the United Nations top job

Apr 7, 2016 New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key recently threw his support behind his predecessor, Helen Clark, following her decision to run for United Nation secretary-general.

New Zealand had earlier submitted a letter to the president of the 193-member General Assembly formally nominating Clark as a candidate to succeed Ban Ki-moon as secretary-general.

United Nations secretary general’s job has always been held by a man, since the body’s inception 70 years ago, and there is a strong push for a woman to be elected.

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Speaking to reporters in Wellington, Key said:

“There are major global challenges facing the world today and the United Nations needs a proven leader who can be pragmatic and effective. Having served as the prime minister of New Zealand for nine years and holding one of the top jobs in the United Nations for the past seven years, Helen has the right mix of skills and experience for the job. Coming from New Zealand, Helen is well placed to bridge divisions and indeed to get results. She has a vast amount of experience in international affairs, she is a great listener and a tremendous communicator,”

Prime minister Key went on to endorse leadership experience saying:

“If you think about the role of the secretary-general of the United Nations, it is the most important diplomatic role in the world. This is the body that shows leadership on behalf of the globe, and I think if you look at Helen Clark, it isn’t just the time that she spent in New Zealand as prime minister where she was very dedicated to foreign policy or her time actually at the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), it’s actually her entire life has been dedicated to foreign policy. That’s been her area of great passion and interest. She is immensely knowledgeable and incredibly talented and I think there’ll be a lot of people on, you know who ultimately will have to make a call, who will look at her and say this is a person that has great intellect and a deep understanding of the issues,”

Ban Ki-moon, a former South Korean foreign minister, will step down at the end of 2016 after two five-year terms.

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