26 May 2016

Clark attack 'won't affect' UN bid

10:24 am on 26 May 2016

The American reporter who wrote an article critical of Helen Clark's leadership of the United Nations Development Programme says it's unlikely to hurt her quest to become UN Secretary-General.

Helen Clark at the United Nations in New York, United States of America.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The magazine Foreign Policy ran a feature on Miss Clark's tenure as the leader of the United Nations Development Programme, saying she had "left a trail of embittered peers and subordinates" after carrying out large-scale restructuring.

Colum Lynch, senior diplomatic reporter for the international magazine, said New Zealand's former prime minister had left a trail of embittered peers and subordinates, who accuse her of undercutting the UN's promotion of human rights and of ruthlessly ending the careers of underlings in her quest to advance her candidacy.

The article also suggested Miss Clark's managers drove a UN employee out of her job for being involved in a report criticising the agency's inaction during the Sri Lankan civil war.

Mr Lynch said the election of secretary-general was not by popular vote.

"This is not a regular kind of democratic election so at the end of the day, the countries that will decide who will be the next Secretary-General are largely to be the permanent five members of the (Security) Council who have veto power over any choice."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs