Helen Clark steps on people to get ahead? That passes the sniff test

Helen Clark and Trevir Mallard with Labour's biggest donor, Owen Glenn, at the opening of a University building Glen paid for.

Helen Clark and Trevor Mallard with Labour’s biggest donor, Owen Glenn, at the opening of a University building Glen paid for.

Helen Clark, the U.N.’s development czar, has emerged as a front-runner in the race for U.N. secretary-general, inspiring international hopes that a powerful woman could lead the world’s preeminent diplomatic organization for the first time. Back home in New Zealand, where Clark served as prime minister from December 1999 to November 2008, the teenage pop star Lorde declared she was “all in” for her “awe-inspiring fellow countrywoman.” Fans produced T-shirts proclaiming, “Aunty Helen for UN Secretary General.”

But many of her own U.N. colleagues are not rooting for her. Clark’s seven-year stewardship of the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) has left a trail of embittered peers and subordinates, who accuse Clark of ruthlessly ending the careers of underlings in her quest to advance her candidacy and of undercutting the U.N.’s promotion of human rights. In the most controversial move, Clark’s top managers allegedly drove one UNDP official out of her job in retaliation for participating in an investigation that sharply criticized the agency’s response to mass atrocities in Sri Lanka, according to internal U.N. emails and several current and former U.N.-based officials and diplomats. The offices of the deputy U.N. secretary-general and a top aide to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon lobbied Clark’s office to rescue the UNDP official’s career, but they were unsuccessful.

That’s our Hels.  And that’s also why she’s better off with the job at the UN rather than coming back to New Zealand and sorting out the mess she left in her wake.  

One U.N. official raised concern in an email to a colleague that Clark had used her position to weaken some of the U.N.’s chief most important initiatives, and to veto any policy that challenged UNDP’s interests.

For instance, the official noted, Clark and her aides sought to dilute a key proposal to deploy teams of human rights experts and conflict specialists to countries beset by a sudden influx of violence. The idea was that these teams — operating under the authority of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the U.N.’s top political adviser — would have greater freedom to promote human rights. But Clark’s team pushed back, demanding that the UNDP administrator provide “clear direction” to any such human rights team, according to an email from a UNDP official involved in the internal negotiations. Clark’s office also fought internally to ensure UNDP staffers secured most of the resident coordinator posts. Current or former staffers from UNDP currently have about 50 percent of such posts, far more than any other U.N. agency.

She is ruthless, brutal and only acts in her own interests.  The Labour Party was so gutted of current and future talent by Clark that almost a decade later, they are still flapping about like a fish caught on the mudflats at low tide.

You can be assured that when Clark makes it to secretary general, those critical of her today will not be with the UN for very long.


– Yahoo! News

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.