General Assembly confirms Helen Clark as new UN development chief

Helen Clark

31 March 2009 – The General Assembly today confirmed the appointment of former Prime Minister Helen Clark of New Zealand as the new head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

UNDP is the largest of the independently funded UN agencies and, under its special General Assembly mandate, leads the world body’s work on eradicating extreme poverty and promoting good governance in the developing world.

Miss Clark’s nomination for UNDP Administrator was forwarded by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the Assembly after an extensive selection process, which included the establishment of a senior appointments panel chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General and consisting of senior UN officials as well as two outside experts in financial and developmental economics.

She replaces Kemal Dervis of Turkey, who had been in the post since 2005 and stepped down on 1 March for family and personal reasons.

Miss Clark had been a member of the New Zealand Parliament since 1981, and was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2008, while concurrently holding a number of other portfolios including Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Former New Zealand premier nominated for top UN development post

Related Stories