A proven, "pragmatic and effective" leader: Helen Clark makes her case

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General Assembly Seventieth session Informal Dialogues with Candidates for the Position of Secretary-General: Helen Clark. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The UN "needs a proven leader" who is both "pragmatic and effective."

That's the view of Helen Clark, making her case to become the next Secretary-General of the global organization.

The current head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) who served as Prime Minister of New Zealand for nine years, was speaking at an unprecedented briefing session on Thursday.

The Informal Dialogues, where candidates state their case and take questions from Member States and civil society groups, mark the beginning of the process to select the next UN chief.

Matthew Wells reports.

The process, led by the President of the General Assembly, has been described as a job interview in front of the whole world.

Thursday was the last day of dialogues, bringing the final three candidates to the microphone to explain why they are best suited to become the next and ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations.

One of four women vying for the top job so far, Helen Clark said that her experience and lifelong commitment to social justice and the global values of the UN, made her well suited to run the organization.

"I believe the UN needs a proven leader, who is pragmatic and effective. I see the incoming Secretary-General needing to update the administration. I think the UN can become more effective in delivering to Member States. It must be transparent and frank about what it can and cannot do. It must work closely with Member States to see that the resources given to it are prioritized around where the biggest difference can be made."

Ms Clark committed herself to furthering the ambitious sustainable development and climate change agendas of last year, and vowed to advocate for greater youth involvement and participation for women.

It was important, she added, to be optimistic about the organization's bright future despite the huge challenges.

Two other candidates were appearing on Thursday, Vuk Jeremić and Srgjan Kerim, completing the briefings by the nine candidates so far declared, all of whom were put forward for consideration by their own Member States.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’20″

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