Hard News by Russell Brown


Onwards and upwards

The Trans-Tasman Political Letter is quoting "highly-placed sources" as saying that Helen Clark is to be named as head of the United Nations Development Programme. The full release from Trans-Tasman is posted below.

I'm a bit busy preparing for tonight's Media7 recording, but I'm sure you will all have some thoughts on the news. Feel free to post links to further news and reactions in the discussion for this post.

Here's the release:


For Immediate Release

Clark Gets UN Job

The Trans-Tasman Political Letter reports Helen Clark, NZ's Prime Minister from 1999 to 2008, is to be named as head of the United Nations Development Programme.

This is the highest international post held by a NZer since a former Prime Minister Mike Moore held the post of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

Highly placed sources have told Trans-Tasman the UN Secretary-General Ban Ky-Moon is confirming the appointment within the next few hours.

The NZ Govt strongly supported Clark's nomination for the job, and John Key lobbied other leaders as well as insisting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade did everything within its means to carry the message of support in its chain of diplomatic missions abroad.

Earlier, Clark gained a place on the shortlist of three but then major donors to the UNDP threw their support behind her.

Clark's credentials include not only her experience as Prime Minister but her leadership on many international issues and the recognition of her role in the evolution of NZ's anti-nuclear policy.

It is expected she will take up the post later this year. Her departure will signal the need for a by-election in the Mt Albert electorate which she has held since 1981.

Righto …

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