Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark is losing support in her historic bid to become the first woman to head the United Nations, but she has no plans to quit the race.
Miss Clark finished equal seventh in the UN Security Council’s fifth secret ballot held in New York on Monday for the soon-to-be vacant secretary-general’s position.
It was one position better than the fourth poll on September 9.
But, in a disappointing sign for her campaign, nine of the 15 countries on the Security Council gave her “discourage” votes, two more than the last poll.
Miss Clark told supporters she was continuing her campaign and looking forward to the next phase of the vote.
“Many thanks to UN Security Council members who continued to support me,” Miss Clark wrote on Twitter. Read more »
The Media party are all a flutter trying to work out why Key is helping Hels.
High up in a building that jostles for space on New York’s Third Ave is where Team Clark is based – the dedicated group of Foreign Affairs staffers tasked with backing Helen Clark’s bid to lead the United Nations.
This is where Clark comes to discuss her “talking points” for upcoming meetings, and for a “debrief” afterward. Notes are kept of her various meetings and conversations, tabs are kept on which countries might be supporting Clark’s bid and – though no one will admit it – there will likely be assessments of her rivals as well.
Another dedicated team based back in Wellington is also working on Clark’s bid. Coupled with the former prime minister’s legendary drive and energy, one thing is clear about this campaign – team Clark is not going to to die wondering if it could have done more.
Prime Minister John Key keeps making the point that Clark’s place in the middle of the pack so far has nothing to do with her credentials or ability but everything to do with geopolitical realities. You can make the same case about the team of experts working in the background of her campaign.
[…] Read more »
Ms Clark is one of nine contenders remaining in the complex race for the position of UN secretary-general, but she hasn’t fared well in preliminary polls, coming in seventh.
Added to this, she may possibly face a veto from permanent Security Council member Russia when voting proper begins next month. Read more »
I do enjoy a party that has politicians prepared to call a spade a spade. Pauline Hanson’s party, One Nation has impressed me with its willingness to raise the issues of both Muslim immigration and the corruption and uselessness of the United Nations. This willingness to be unpopular with the media and to say politically incorrect things because they are the truth, is what ultimately is going to protect Australia. Where are the New Zealand politicians prepared to protect New Zealand? Apart from Winston Peters no other politician in New Zealand has stepped up to the plate. Why not a NZ-Exit? It is time for some strong and decisive leadership.
One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts has urged Australia to mimic Britain’s Brexit and leave the “socialistic, monolithic” United Nations during his first speech to Parliament.
Not looking good for hells bells
Miss Clark came in eighth in Friday’s fourth straw poll for the next secretary-general, one place lower than the previous two polls.
The established frontrunner, former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres, came out on top again.
While the vote could swing drastically in the final days with the Security Council’s permanent members – the US, Russia, China, France and Britain – holding vetoes that could strike Mr Guterres and other favourites out, Miss Clark’s slip in the standings is a setback to her campaign.
She was given six “encourage”, seven “discourage” and two “no opinion” votes. Read more »
If Helen Clark is to become the next United Nations Secretary-General, it’s the Russians she needs most to convince she’s right for the job.
In Vientiane, Laos, on Thursday Prime Minister John Key will again advocate on her behalf when he meets his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.
Russia has already said it wants the next UN head to be from Eastern Europe, following rotation.
Clark has been tireless in her campaign, courting international media, and cultivating a big following on social media. She has done so knowing that she enters the race with a huge handicap – there is a prevailing view that it is Eastern Europe’s “turn” to lead the UN under the so-called regional rotation “rule”, and the odds would appear to be stacked against her given the large number of Eastern European candidates.
The decision will ultimately come down to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – US, Britain, China, Russia and France – and some of them appear to prefer other candidates, which further raises the odds.
But despite that Clark is regularly touted as the frontrunner and that has ruffled feathers.
She has been rated as the best performer, but that may just get her to “most capable loser”, as the fact she wasn’t actually born in a Soviet bloc country will weigh heavily against her. Read more »
John Key is canvassing support for Helen Clark to be the next United Nations secretary-general as he meets national leaders on his trip to Europe and Indonesia but says she faces a “really tough fight” to get the job.
“All the feedback we continue to get is that she is extremely well thought of,” he told reporters in London on Tuesday.
Mr Key said outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron told him on Monday he thought Ms Clark, who is now the head of the UN Development Programme, would potentially be very good in the top UN job.
The first straw poll on the post will be held later this month to narrow down the field.
Mr Key said he would be canvassing support for the “outstanding” candidate Ms Clark when he meets national leaders in Italy, France and Indonesia later this week.
Today’s face of the day, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon, has made history.
An Israeli ambassador to the UN will head a UN committee for the first time since joining the organization in 1949, Danon was elected after a diplomatic campaign including opposition by Muslim member-states.
After months of behind-the-scenes diplomatic struggles, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon was elected to head the UN Legal Committee (officially named the Sixth Committee) on Monday. The committee deals with sensitive topics including fighting global terrorism.
No country has more experience and expertise at fighting Islamic terrorism than Israel. No wonder the Muslim member states opposed Danon’s selection.
While the Media party wank on about Fiji and their “democracy”, and goad John Key into taking tougher action on Fiji, the rest of the world moves on.
Fiji’s ambassador to the United Nations, Peter Thomson, has been elected the president of the organisation’s General Assembly.
Mr Thomson narrowly defeated the Cypriot ambassador, Andreas Mavroyiannis, by 94 votes to 90 in a contested election.
He will begin his one-year term in September, when Denmark’s Mogens Lykketoft finishes his term.
The post is largely ceremonial, though it has a high profile and important procedural functions and Mr Thomson will oversee the process of searching for a new UN secretary-general general. Read more »