Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark has only an outside chance of becoming the next United Nations Secretary General, the country’s current prime minister said Monday.
John Key told Television New Zealand that Clark represented a threat to the desire of some UN Security Council members that the post be filled by an Eastern European candidate.
“That is one issue, there are all sorts of others.
“I don’t think it’s all over for Helen, but she is really up against it,” he said.
Key said Clark was likely to be considering her position after the leaked results of a second straw poll showed she had fallen to seventh place out of 11 candidates.
Clark posted on Twitter, “Disappointed by outcome. Discussing this over coming days,” following the results.
Clark had been regarded as one of the favourites for the role, with her seven years as head of the UN Development Programme and nine years as prime minister of New Zealand expected to stand her in good stead.
It had also been thought that Security Council members favoured having a female in the role for the first time, although a male candidate, former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, has since topped both straw polls of the 15 Security Council members.
The UN General Assembly is expected to vote on who will succeed Ban Ki-moon in the role in either September or October.