'An endless source of inspiration' - Helen Clark leaves UN with gushing praise from colleagues

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United Nations representatives and organisations have heaped praise on former prime minister Helen Clark as she worked her last day at the world body in New York.

The former prime minister sat for a two hour interview with the General Assembly in New York.
Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Clark served two four-year terms as administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) before she stepped down today, after unsuccessfully vying to become UN Secretary-General.

The UN General Assembly today confirmed Germany’s Achim Steiner to succeed her as the head of the UNDP.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres thanked Ms Clark, calling her "a highly effective communicator" and champion of development, among myriad key priorities.

NZ diplomat Terence O'Brien says NZ should be happy Clark has done such a good job at the UN.
Source: 1 NEWS

UNDP executive board president Ib Petersen said Clark had "spearheaded significant development and institutional reforms" during her time in charge, helping to modernise the organisation and improving the ratio of female to male employees, Fairfax reported.

"For eight years, Helen Clark has focused her work and advocacy on the needs of the poor and marginalised around the world, be it in promoting the rights of women, LGBTI, refugees and migrants, and people with HIV/AIDs or in areas such as environmental protection, climate action, disaster risk reduction, and democratic governance."

UN representatives and organisations posted a number of messages online marking her last day, one describing her as "an endless source of inspiration, leadership and good humour".

Ms Clark would have been the UN's first female Secretary-General but straw polls put her towards the bottom of the list of contenders for the top job.

She announced her departure from the UNDP in January, and her future plans are still not known.

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