The search for a successor to Ban Ki-moon comes at a time of high anxiety in global affairs as the United Nations grapples with the biggest refugee crisis since World War II and raging conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.
"I am putting myself forward based on proven leadership experience over close to three decades, both in my own country and here at the United Nations," Clark said in an interview, ending months of speculation.
"I do think I have the experience and the attributes to do this job." Currently the UN's highest-ranking woman, Clark heads its largest agency, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), a post she has held for the past seven years, overseeing the world body's vast development agenda.

New Zealand formally put forward Clark, one of the most experienced women in global politics, as its candidate at a press conference in Wellington.

"Having served as the prime minister of New Zealand for nine years and held one of the top jobs in the United Nations for the past seven, Helen Clark has the right mix of skills and experience for the job," Prime Minister John Key said.


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