Helen Clark

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Helen Clark (2016)

Helen Elizabeth Clark , ONZ , (* 26. February 1950 in Hamilton ) is a New Zealand politician of the Labor Party . From December 5, 1999 to November 2008, she was the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand . From 2009 to 2017 she headed the United Nations Development Program , holding the third highest office of the United Nations .

Clark was a candidate for the office of UN Secretary-General in the South Pacific region in 2016 .


Before Helen Clark entered politics, she taught in the Political Studies Department at the University of Auckland . She completed her studies in 1971 with a bachelor's degree and in 1974 with a master's first class. She is married to Professor of Sociology at the University of Auckland , Peter Davis .

As a politician, she was first Minister for Housing and Nature Conservation, then Minister of Health and later Deputy Prime Minister. In the 1990s, under Jim Bolger and Jenny Shipley's reign of the National Party , she was opposition leader in the House of Representatives .

Prime Minister of New Zealand

In 1999, Clark replaced her predecessor Jenny Shipley with a minority government , a coalition with the Alliance Party and the Green Party . From 2002 she headed a coalition government made up of the Progressive Coalition Party , Green Party and United Future New Zealand .

At the beginning of her term of office, during which the country experienced a strong economic boom, the Social Democrat Helen Clark New Zealand tried to cautiously turn back privatizations . When Clark was confirmed in office against challenger Don Brash in 2005, New Zealand had the lowest unemployment rate in any developed country. From August 29, 2008 to November 19, 2008, Clark was New Zealand's Secretary of State .

In the elections of November 8, 2008, Clarks ruling coalition lost the majority in New Zealand's parliament to the opposition alliance led by John Key , who succeeded them.

Head of UNDP

In April 2009, Helen Clark became Head of the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, the third highest office of the United Nations . Helen Clark won the election by the UN General Assembly against several candidates favored by the US government .

Candidate as UN Secretary General

In July 2016, Clark announced her candidacy for the office of UN Secretary-General . In addition to Clark, eight other candidates are known: Christiana Figueres , Vesna Pusić , António Guterres , Susanna Malcorra , Vuk Jeremić , Natalie Gherman , Danilo Türk , Igor Lukšić and Irina Bokowa . Guterres was ultimately elected.

Political positions

Helen Clark has always emphasized that privatization and deregulation have not brought the hoped-for successes. On the contrary, this economic policy has led to a disaster, so that the state had to buy back the railways and airlines. The privatization of telecommunications only led from a state to a private monopoly. For example, the private energy companies would have only withdrawn their profit for years and invested neither in maintenance nor in the renewal of the networks. Also the sale of banks - e.g. B. Postbank and Bank of New Zealand - was not a success. Because big banks have no interest in the little man's money, in some cities you couldn't even open an account for years.



  • Janet McCallum : Women in the House: Members of Parliament in New Zealand . Caper Catley Ltd. , Picton 1993, ISBN 0-908561-41-5 .

Web links

Commons : Helen Clark  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files
  • Helen Clark . United Nations Development Program(UNDP),accessed June 1, 2015(Biography of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Program).

Individual evidence

  1. a b Helen Clark unanimously confirmed as new head of UNDP . United Nations Development Program ( UNDP ), March 31, 2009, accessed April 14, 2018 .
  2. a b Helen Clark pitches for South Pacific to hold UN secretary general position. In: theguardian.com. July 13, 2016, accessed on July 13, 2016 .
  3. Helen Clark . United Nations Development Program ( UNDP ), accessed June 1, 2015 .
  4. ^ Paul Chapman : Helen Clark, New Zealand's PM, ousted by wealthy investment banker John Key . The Telegraph , November 8, 2008, accessed June 1, 2015 .
  5. ^ António Guterres appointed next UN Secretary-General by acclamation. In: United Nations News Center. October 13, 2016, accessed October 24, 2016 .
  6. Helen Clark . The Nuclear-Free Future Award , October 5, 2002, accessed on September 14, 2018 .
  7. James Ihaka : Top award takes Clark by surprise . The New Zealand Herald , December 31, 2009, accessed January 2, 2010 .
  8. ^ NZ's highest honor for Helen Clark . TVNZ - One News , December 31, 2009, accessed January 2, 2010 .