Mr Key was today on his way to Vietnam, where he will attend the East Asia Summit in Hanoi, but his bilateral meetings with world leaders outside the summit will draw most attention, one of those with Mr Ban.
The two were likely to discuss a possible bid by former prime minister Helen Clark for the secretary-general role when Mr Ban’s term ended in 2015.
Miss Clark heads the UN Development Programme.
Climate change, New Zealand’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council and the Pacific Islands Forum, to be held in Auckland next year, would also be discussed.
I can only imagine that NZPA’s reporter interviewed themselves. I can’t imagine there is any way John Key will be chatting to Mr Ban about how to make Helen his successor for four reasons.
- First of all Ban is still in his first term in the job and has yet to gain re-appointment to a second term. There is no way you talk to someone not yet reappointed about their possible successor.
- Secondly his first term ends at the end of 2011 and his second term would end at the end of 2016 – so no idea where 2015 comes from. Clark’s term ends in 2013 incidentally. Anyway you don’t talk job succession six years before there is a vacancy.
- Helen does not speak French, and that is an unofficial requirement for the job.
- Also NZ belongs to the Western Europe and Others regional grouping. The job is rotated amongst the regions and the next region due is the Eastern European group.
So Helen will not be the next UN Secretary-General, and media who say she might be do not understand the UN system. She is from the wrong region (not fixable) and does not speak French (she could learn if she thought she had a chance).Also there will probably not be a vacancy until 2017.
Further, it is my personal view she does not have the skills and experience necessary to do the job. I think she was qualified to be UNDP Administrator, but Secretary-General is a very different ball game.