Helen Clark’s appointment as head of the UN Development Programme recognises her strong commitment to overseas development, says Christian World Service.
“Her government undertook seriously the question of how we administer our overseas aid by establishing NZAID, the government department which is now under threat of closure,” said CWS national director Pauline McKay.
As head of UNDP, Helen Clark will be responsible for ensuring the world reaches the Millennium Development Goals aimed at halving world poverty by 2015. As a signatory to the goals, New Zealand has committed to efforts to meet the goals.
Ms McKay said it was ironic Prime Minister John Key supported Miss Clark’s candidacy for the UNDP job. His Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Murray McCully is looking to fold NZAID back into the ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, moving its focus from poverty alleviation to economic development.
CWS congratulates Miss Clark on her UNDP appointment, the UN’s third highest position after secretary-general and deputy secretary-general. The position shows that small countries can compete effectively for high-rank posts in world organisations, Ms McKay says.
“Her appointment will also help raise awareness in New Zealand of issues facing countries where poverty is the daily existence for millions,” Ms McKay said.
The UNDP is the UN’s global development network. It has a US $5billion a year budget and works in the world’s 166 poorest and developing countries increasing democratic governance, reducing poverty, preventing crises, improving environment and energy conservation and efforts to reduce HIV and Aids.
March 27, 2009