Patrick Gower's guide to the United Nations

Patrick Gower's guide to the United Nations

Newshub political editor Patrick Gower has been hanging out in New York where he's learned a few things about what you need to succeed at the United Nations.

It's been a big week for New Zealand, with Prime Minister John Key addressing the General Assembly and chairing a powerhouse meeting of the Security Council about the Syrian conflict.

He's also been helping out "Aunty Helen" with her bid to become the UN's next Secretary-General including facilitating a face-to-face meeting with Barack Obama.

But while he's been surveying the complex geo-politics of the United Nations, Gower's come up with what you need in your United Nations starter pack if you want to be a success:

As he was talking, a diplomatic group from Thailand strode by quite purposefully.

"What you saw there is your bog-standard diplomatic phalanx, it's usually about 10 to 15 people. They stride quite purposefully; they all wear lanyards and carry clipboards. In the middle is a Prime Minister or a Foreign Minister or a Deputy Foreign Minister or Deputy Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister.

"The bigger your phalanx, the more people around you, the more powerful you are. If you get a motorcade you're more powerful than anyone, if you get a big motorcade with a helicopter on top you're Barack Obama.

"If you're slumming it like we do with our backpacks and bags and everything you're pretty low down the rung."

Gower's been in the thick of it, and in a Facebook livestream scored New Zealand's efforts a 10 out of 10.

"We made the decision to talk about Syria which is a big issue, a big problem and it was never going to get solved in one meeting, but what did happen in the end is we enabled the world to have a good old-fashioned shit fight and a really important argument about what's going on there." 

He even called Aunty Helen the "Richie McCaw of geo-politics", saying she needs a strong performance to get her from the bottom of the straw polls and into the top job.

"She says 'Aunty Helen can win', 'Aunty Helen can do the job'.