UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

Former NZ PM Helen Clark has faced off against her fellow candidates for the role of UN Secretary-General in a televised debate.

Ten of twelve candidates gunning for the role of UN Secretary-General appeared on the podium in two groups of five, with Ms Clark among the second group.

Eight of the twelve candidates are from Eastern European countries and six are women.

It's the first time the UN has broadcast a candidates' debate live on television, and the new Secretary-General will be appointed in January 2017.

Newshub's World News editor Tony Wright has been following the debate and has rated how Clark went, along with her opponents.

The first group of five candidates:

Vesnar Pusic (Former deputy PM of Croatia)

UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

Ms Pusic talked a lot about the Secretary-General needing conviction and courage.

She claimed there was sufficient blame within the UN for the current situation in South Sudan, but didn't seem to have much of a plan to fix the conflict.

Not a strong presence on the podium by any stretch.

Rating 5/10

Antonio Guterres (Former PM of Portugal)

UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

Mr Guterres tried hard to be noticed and talked up the multicultural aspects in trying to combat climate change.

He decried the bias towards African nations in the international court of law, but rather strangely suggested Africa was an example for others to follow.

Seemed confused at times but was largely successful in getting his points across.

Wants gender equality at the top of the UN. 

Mr Guterres started strong but stumbled towards the end.

Rating 6/10

Susana Malcorra (Foreign Minister of Argentina)

UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

Ms Malcorra struggled to get her points across at times and would have been largely disappointed with her time at the podium.

She touted the need for change in the UN Security Council, but didn't appear to have a plan to fix it.

Ms Malcorra called for gender equality in the UN's middle management and said it's up to the people of the world to understand climate change before it can be fixed. 

Rating 5/10

Vuk Jeremic (Serbia, former President of the UN General Assembly)

UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

Mr Jeremic claimed to have written his own 54-point-manifesto on how the UN should be run, and said the UN had become stagnate and was failing.

At times, he seemed almost arrogant and certainly backed himself to make a great Secretary-General.

Was big on conflict prevention, saying there should be less paper shuffling in New York and more engagement on the ground.

Supports reform of the UN Security Council and says he is committed to women's rights.

Mr Jeremic was by far the best of the male candidates.

Rating 7/10

Natalia Gherman (Former deputy PM of Moldova)

UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

Ms Gherman preached to protect human rights, and rolled out a few tired phrases such as "I'm convinced there is no justice without peace, and no peace without justice."

She urged the UN to go back to its original charter and start delivering on its promises.

Ms Gherman claimed the people of the world are the UN's greatest ally, but I'm not sure the General Assembly warmed to her at all.

Rating 5/10

The second group of five candidates:

Helen Clark (New Zealand, heads the UN Development Programme)

UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

Ms Clark had the advantage of being the only candidate to speak in her main language, and her English was indeed excellent.

She received warm applause after every response, when most other candidates did not.

She was measured but strong and knowledgeable on subjects such as the sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers, on the refugee crisis and on fixing the myriad of broken systems within the UN.

Moreover, she had a concrete plan to fix most issues and seemed to be the 'fan favourite' of the debate, even getting the crowd to laugh.

Overall, Ms Clark was very impressive and the best of the ten candidates on show.

Rating 9/10

Irina Bokova (Bulgaria, Director of UNESCO)

UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

Ms Bokova is considered one of the favourites and Ms Clark's biggest rival.

I expected more from her and I think the UN General Assembly did as well.

She spoke of the need for greater investment in education and of the empowerment of young women, but a lot of her thoughts appeared obvious and uninspired.

Rating 6/10

Christiana Figueres (Costa Rica, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change)

UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

The debate's other outstanding candidate just behind Helen Clark, Ms Figueres showed she is made of stern stuff, with a forthright approach lacking from most on stage.

Very strong on climate change and the refugee crisis and said she had zero tolerance for UN peace keepers who abuse their status.

Ms Figueres announced herself as Ms Clark's main competition for the post of UN Secretary-General.

Rating 8/10

Igor Luksic (Former PM of Montenegro)

UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

At 40, Mr Luksic was by far the youngest candidate on stage, and his youth and inexperience showed.

His rhetoric was poor, and he seemed largely overawed by the occasion.

Claimed to understand the problems of a war-torn nation and the refugee crisis, but appeared not to have the tools to fix these issues.

Mr Luksic was probably the worst candidate on show.

Rating 4/10

Danilo Turk (Former President of Slovenia)

UN debate - how did Helen Clark and her fellow candidates rate?

An elder statesman of international politics with three decades under his belt, Mr Turk appeared staid and at times even bored by the debate.

Hardly made an impact by stating the obvious, it would be hard to see a Turk led UN enacting any meaningful change.

Rating 5/10

Newshub.

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