Clark causing 'internal uproar' at UN - reports

Helen Clark (Reuters)
Helen Clark (Reuters)

Helen Clark has hit turbulence in her bid for the United Nations' top job, following the publication of an article which suggests her candidacy is causing an "internal uproar".

According to Foreign Policy, during Ms Clark's time at the head of the UN Development Programme, she allegedly left a trail of "embittered peers and subordinates" by "ruthlessly" ending the careers of underlings in her quest to advance candidacy.

Most of the accusations centre on a former employee of the UN, allegedly driven out of her job by UNDP managers for participating in an investigation that was critical of the organisation's ability to respond to atrocities occurring in Sri Lanka.

Since the publication of the article, Ms Clark's office has hit back at the claims and says journalist Colum Lynch has used fabricated facts to bolster his writing.

"She has advocated and fought tirelessly for the poor and the marginalised, and has always been on the frontlines of human rights. The recent allegations of retaliation or involvement in a former UNDP staff member's employment status are totally fabricated, as are the allegations regarding the Petrie Report and Human Rights Up Front. "

According to the article, Ms Clark's office had lobbied to rescue the UNDP officials job, but had come out unsuccessful.

It has been reported in the past that Ms Clark is not popular among all UN staffers as she led a massive restructuring phase at its New York headquarters.

But, it is however noted that she is respected for overseeing those changes, and one unidentified diplomat told Foreign Policy Ms Clark was a tenacious advocate for the UN.

"She is one of the most aggressive turf warriors the UN has ever seen."