UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to announce today that former prime minister Helen Clark has been chosen for one of the world’s top jobs.
It was unofficially known in Parliament yesterday that Miss Clark would be the next head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), an aid agency with a multi-billion dollar budget operating in 166 countries.
Miss Clark, backed by the Government, lobbied hard for the position which is the third highest in the UN behind the secretary-general and his deputy.
Prime Minister John Key told reporters he could not officially confirm the appointment but said it would be a tremendous honour for a New Zealand to hold the position.
Labour leader Phil Goff said he did not want to pre-empt an announcement which he understood was close.
“All of us New Zealanders will be hoping that Helen is successful,” he said.
“She has the skills, the confidence, the capability to do the job and that would be great for New Zealand and that would be great for the UNDP.”
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.
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