Thursday 9 April 2009

Former PM Clark off to New York

Most astute readers will be aware that former Kiwi PM Helen Clark, has been appointed Administrator of the United Nationals Development Programme.

The role is the third most senior at the UN, has been confirmed by the UN General Assembly. The UNDP is the largest of the independently funded of UN agencies. It's aim is to eradicate extreme poverty and promote good governance in developing countries. It has a $7.5 billion budget, mostly spent on African programs.

Clark served in the New Zealand Parliament since 1981, and was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2008.

In her valedictory speech to Parliament yesterday, 27 years to-the-month since she made her maiden speech as a 32-year-old, said it was inevitable that New Zealand would give up the British monarchy as head of state.

"It's a question of not if but when." Helen Clark's government abolished knights and dames but the new National Prime Minister, John Key, has since re-instated them.

"I have no regrets, I repeat no regrets, about leaving Parliament at this time," Clark said, who ushered in huge social reform under her leadership. From gay civil unions; prostitution law reform and hate crime legislation; it makes Australia a conservative backwater.

I've met Clark on a number of occasions through my time serving as a political research officer in Wellington, and while Lance Royce will vehemently object, I wish her the very best in this challenging new role ahead.
At least she has comfortable shoes.

1 comment:

The Scissor Sisters said...

We always wondered about Helen.... Is she, or isn't she?