Helen Clark faces greatest test of her campaign to become UN Secretary-General

Helen Clark faces greatest test of her campaign to become UN Secretary-General

Former NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark will soon go head-to-head with nine other UN Secretary-General candidates in a televised debate.

Ms Clark will take to the podium in New York late on Wednesday morning (NZ time) to state her case to become arguably the world's most important diplomat, replacing Ban Ki-moon, who's held the post since 2007.

Ms Clark will face some tough questions during the debate, but is well placed to answer them, having worked as the UN's Development Programme Administrator since 2009.

She'll need to win over the 193 General Assembly members, but especially the 'big five' of the US, China, Russia, Britain and France, who essentially hold most of the power and will have the final choice.

It's the first time the UN has televised the debate live, as the organisation looks to re-engage with the global population following recent criticism it has become impotent.

The former Labour leader will contest the second group in the debate, and will be up against four others on the podium.

Helen Clark faces greatest test of her campaign to become UN Secretary-General

Danilo Turk (Slovenia)

Mr Turk is a former Slovenian President, a practicing professor of international law and a human rights expert. 

The 64-year-old survived prostate cancer in 2011 and has worked closely with the UN for three decades.

Helen Clark faces greatest test of her campaign to become UN Secretary-General

Christiana Figueres (Costa Rica)

Ms Figueres is a former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and has worked as a high level diplomat for 35-years.

The 59-year-old is an expert in sustainable development, energy and financial cooperation. She's certain to push the climate change agenda during the debate.

Helen Clark faces greatest test of her campaign to become UN Secretary-General

Igor Luksic (Montenegro)

At 40, Mr Luksic is the youngest candidate and a former Prime Minister of Montenegro and the country's current Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Luksic has openly criticised some UN peace-keeping troops calling them 'rapists', who 'bring shame to the UN and destroy its reputation'. 

Expect Mr Luksic to be vocal about the use of UN peace-keeping missions.

Helen Clark faces greatest test of her campaign to become UN Secretary-General

Irina Bokova (Bulgaria)

Ms Bokova is the current Director-General of UNESCO, and has been a Deputy Minister and Foreign Minister of Bulgaria's government.

She speaks five languages and is founder and chairperson of the European Policy Forum, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation.

Ms Bokova is considered one the favourites for the role of Secretary-General.

Newshub.

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