‘Peace matters to women’: Helen Clark launches campaign to lead UN

Former New Zealand PM, who wants to succeed Ban Ki-moon as secretary general, says women are a vector for stability

New Zealands former prime minister Helen Clark has started her campaign to become the first woman to lead the United Nations, saying in Paris that peace really matters to women.

Clark, 66, said she never asked for supporters because Im a woman, but acknowledged that Of course I am a woman, and I bring that perspective to a job.

It holds generally true that women carry a broad range of family responsibilities and give priority to health and education, she said.

As such, Clark said women are a vector for peace and stability, stressing: Peace really matters to women.

Clark has headed the largest UN agency, the UN Development Programme, which implements the bodys worldwide economic development operations, since 2009.

She plans to promote her bid in each of the capitals of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – France, Britain, the United States, Russia and China.

She and three other women are among the nine candidates so far in the running to succeed Ban Ki-moon of South Korea as secretary general.

Bulgarias Irina Bokova, head of the UN cultural agency Unesco, is considered a strong contender and would be the first UN chief from eastern Europe, the only region that has yet to be represented in the top job.

Given an unwritten rule of regional rotation to fill the post, Clark may be at a disadvantage being from the same Asia-Pacific region as Ban.

But she said this time the member states are looking more at the scale of what is needed in a secretary-general, adding that she offered pragmatic and effective leadership.

The UN Security Council is expected to begin a round of straw polls in July to nominate a candidate.

The General Assembly is expected to endorse the choice in October, and the successful candidate will begin work on 1 January, 2017.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/03/peace-matters-to-women-helen-clark-launches-campaign-to-lead-un