'It ain’t over yet' - Helen Clark on UN secretary-general bid

Helen Clark (Newshub)
Helen Clark (Newshub)

Helen Clark is confident in the continuation of her campaign for UN secretary-general, saying there is a "solid core of support" for her despite a low ranking in early straw poll results.

"I have a huge following in the general assembly... in all the public presentations, whether it was the al Jazeera debate or the hearing at the general assembly, I was rated incredibly highly by the member state body.

"What we have is a lot of factors at work. We have a group of candidates who are quite tightly bunched - some have seven votes, some have six votes, one had five votes.

"So it's not really question of whether you're 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th; it's a question of, 'can you still be in the mix when the final decisions are made?'" she said.

Despite receiving seven 'discourage' votes, she says there are many factors at play that influenced how members voted.

"Among those who are not at this point voting to encourage, there's also support; there's just one reason or another it hasn't been expressed... there are a lot of factors at play."

A candidate is expected to be selected in October.

Each of the five permanent UN members - the United States, France, Russia, China and the United Kingdom - have a veto power, and therefore must reach an agreement on a suitable candidate.

Clark would not comment specifically on any of the five permanent member states, but says she has worked with each of them in the past.

Prime Minister John Key has been backing Clark's bid since the launch of the campaign, this week telling the United Nations General Assembly that "she gets things done".

When asked why her and Key are now working together amicably despite their rivalry in the past, Clark said it was important to work together as New Zealanders.

"In politics you take different positions on things, but I think it's important to keep respect for an adversary in politics because there's life beyond politics, I've discovered.

"At this level, when a Kiwi moves into a diplomatic position, either for New Zealand or on the international stage, everyone works to make it work."

Clark says she is putting all her efforts into the secretary-general campaign and has not thought beyond the decision.

"I only ever work on plan A. Plan A is we're putting a lot of effort into this campaign, and it ain't over yet."

"Aunty Helen can do the job for sure."