### NZ Herald Online 2:16 PM Thursday Jan 26, 2017
Former Prime Minister Helen Clark stepping down from her position at UN
Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has told the UN she will step down as head of the UNDP when her term ends in April. Clark sent a letter to staff this morning to advise them of her decision not to seek another term … Clark was appointed in April 2009 and her role was renewed in 2013 for a second four year term. Clark unsuccessfully ran to be Secretary General of the UN earlier this year – but Portuguese politician Antonio Guterres was selected for the role instead. In her time as head of the UNDP, Clark oversaw a major restructure which ruffled feathers internally but pleased some of the donor countries to the UNDP, such as the United States, which had criticised the UN for ineffective use of money … Her departure coincides with the election of US President Donald Trump who is reportedly considering executive orders to drastically cut US funding to the United Nations.
Helen Clark’s letter reads:
I am writing to advise all staff that I have informed the Secretary General that I am preparing to leave my position as Administrator at the end of my second term on 19 April.
This will allow the Secretary General to appoint a new Administrator as soon as possible. I stand ready to support the transition to the new leader of the organisation. I have full confidence in our Associate Administrator, Tege Gettu, to act as Administrator if there is a gap between my departure and the arrival of the next Administrator.
This is not my final message to staff – there is much to be done between now and 19 April. There is, for example, a timetable for tabling the draft of the next Strategic Plan to enable it to be discussed at the Executive Board’s Annual Meeting on 31 May. It is my desire to see all aspects of the organization in a strong and sustainable state when the next Administrator assumes office.
These are times of change across the UN system. There are post-QCPR reviews being commissioned which may impact on UNDP. While these processes are unfolding, I urge you all to continue to deliver to the high standards for which UNDP is known. Making progress on the SDGs and on supporting national development achievements must continue unabated.
It has been a privilege and an honour for me to lead UNDP for eight years. Our staff are our greatest strength, and I will miss you all. I will offer my thanks and gratitude more fully nearer to my departure.”
Helen’s political timeline
• 1981:Elected to Parliament in Mt Albert
• 1984 – 90: Minister in Labour Government, including Health and Housing, deputy Prime Minister in 1989.
• December 1993: Rolls Mike Moore as Labour leader after National formed Government after a close-run 1993 election.
• 1996: Low polling prompts Labour MPs including Annette King, Michael Cullen and Phil Goff to ask Clark to stand down. Clark refuses.
• 1999: Labour wins election, Clark becomes Prime Minister.
• 2001: Refuses to send troops to Iraq for US-led war after September 11 bombings. Clark deploys SAS troops to Afghanistan and in 2003 sends the reconstruction team to Bamiyan province, visiting them later that year.
• 2008: National wins election, Clark stands down as Labour leader on election night.
• March 2009: Clark is confirmed as Administrator for the UN Development Programme.
• April 2014: Clark is renewed for a second four-year term at UNDP
• 2016: Clark campaigns to be UN Secretary General but the role goes to Antonio Guterres.
Al Jazeera English Uploaded on Oct 2, 2010
One on One – Helen Clark
New Zealand’s former prime minister and the first woman to lead the UNDP talks about her career.
TEDx Talks Published on Aug 20, 2013
Yes she can: Helen Clark at TEDxAuckland
Helen Clark is Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) — the first woman to lead the organization — and Chair of the United Nations Development Group. Prior to joining the UNDP Helen served as Prime Minister of New Zealand for three terms, during which time she was widely engaged in policy development and advocacy across international, economic, social and cultural spheres. Now living in New York, Helen is a passionate supporter of the arts as evidenced by her promotion of the arts, culture and heritage portfolio during her time as Prime Minister.
APEC Published on Jun 4, 2014
Interview with Helen Clark, Administrator, UN Development Programme
Helen Clark shares her perspectives on the occasion of APEC’s 25th Anniversary
UNDP Youth Published on Feb 6, 2016
Helen Clark: Remarks at 2016 ECOSOC Youth Forum
Closing Remarks by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator at the 2016 ECOSOC Youth Forum (1-2 February, 2016). Full text: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/speeches/2016/02/02/helen-clark-closing-remarks-to-2016-ecosoc-youth-forum-.html
█ Twitter: Helen Clark @HelenClarkUNDP
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
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