10 Apr 2016

UN to question Clark about top job

9:40 pm on 10 April 2016

Former prime minister Helen Clark will this week face questioning from representatives of all 193 countries in the United Nations as part of her bid to become the UN's new secretary-general.

Helen Clark

Helen Clark Photo: AFP

The forum, which is described as an informal dialogue, will be held on Friday morning New Zealand time.

It is the first time the UN has interviewed candidates for the top job at a General Assembly. As well as allowing all member nations to take part in the process, the interviews will be held in public. Who gets the job has traditionally been decided behind closed doors by the 15-member Security Council.

The three days set down for the informal dialogues begin on Wednesday, New Zealand time. All 10 candidates will be formally introduced to the assembly, which includes all 193 member states plus observers - the State of Palestine and the Holy See. The general public can also ask questions if time allows.

Each candidate has a televised and webcast two-hour timeslot, starting with a short oral presentation. They must also submit a 2000-word statement of their vision for the United Nations for 2017 and beyond. News media will be able to ask questions of each candidate after the dialogues.

British bookmakers William Hill have Ms Clark as the joint favourite for the job with Unesco Director-General Irina Bukova from Bulgaria.

There will be another round of dialogues in June and the Security Council will begin its deliberations in July.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs