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No plan B for Clark in United Nations bid

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/09/2016
United Nations Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark speaks at a news conference at United Nations headquarters in New York last September. © REUTERS/Mike Segar United Nations Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark speaks at a news conference at United Nations headquarters in New York last September.

Former prime minister Helen Clark says she's not thinking about back-up plans as crunch time nears in her campaign for the United Nations' top job.

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.

But Ms Clark says she has no intention of pulling out of the race and isn't thinking about an alternative plan if she fails to get the job.

"I only every work on plan A. So plan A is we're putting a lot of effort into this campaign and it ain't over yet," she told TV3's The Nation.

"But of course, it's a very windy path with a lot of hidden corners in it. It's big geopolitics. It's also about what style of secretary general the member states are looking for."

Asked whether she would consider an eventual return to New Zealand, Ms Clark said she eventually would come back.

"One day, I will be home. That's where my home is. That's where my family is. So, who knows when it will be, but I'll be back," she said.

Prime Minister John Key, who used part of New Zealand's address to the UN General Assembly to promote Ms Clark, and has lobbied for her, admitted she faced an uphill job.

"Yes, the Russians absolutely want an Eastern European. And yes, she needs her numbers to improve if she's going to get there," he told The Nation.

"But it's, again, not impossible that the landscape changes quite dramatically when other candidates do genuinely get knocked out."

A candidate is expected to be decided on in October to take the role in January.

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