Helen Clark to make global pitch for UN Secretary-General role

UNDP head Helen Clark (Getty)
UNDP head Helen Clark (Getty)

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark is preparing to take questions live on TV in her bid to become the next United Nations Secretary-General.

Ms Clark will be one of 10 candidates taking part in an hour-long discussion and question-and-answer session about the challenges and opportunities facing the global organisation. There are 12 in the running for the job.

The candidates will be split into two groups, with Ms Clark featuring in the second along with Danilo Turk of Slovenia, Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica, Igor Igor Lukšić of Montenegro and Irina Bokova of Bulgaria.

The candidates will also make their case for the job after current Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ends his post at the end of this year.

It'll be televised on Al Jazeera and on the UN's website from 10am NZ time.

"In the past, UN Secretaries-General have been chosen behind closed doors. This time, we want to ensure all UN member states and the entire world have a chance to know who the candidates are, what their vision is and see how they perform," said the President of the UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft.

The UN's General Assembly hall holds 1900 people, and is expected to be packed out with ambassadors, diplomats, UN staff, journalists and business and civil leaders.

Prime Minister John Key has been doing his part to push Ms Clark's case to be the next Secretary-General, most recently discussing the matter with outgoing UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

The permanent five on the UN Security Council, of which the UK is a member, always keeps their vote secret. However, Mr Key said he'd got a good impression from Mr Cameron about their support for her.