After much speculation, the announcement has finally been made. The most powerful woman in the United Nations machinery at the moment, Helen Clark, is now in the running for the most powerful post in the UN- the United Nations Secretary General. If she wins, she would be the first woman to head the collaborative organization in it’s 71 year old history. [Feature Image Courtesy: media-2.web.britannica.com]
Announcing her candidacy, Clark stressed that she saw herself as the gender-neutral best person to lead the world body. “I’ve never sought election as a woman,” she said, though she added: “In the normal course of events I would like to see women have a fair chance, an equal chance at every leadership position.”
Also, this is what she tweeted right after being nominated by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key:
She can expect strong support from the US, which is one of the largest contributors to the UN and has been supportive of her work, both as the former Prime Minister of New Zealand and current UNDP head.
An ardent believer in gender equality and human rights, Clark would no doubt be able to push through some women’s agendas if she were to assume the highest office in the UN.
Clark in not the only woman in the running for the top post though. Trying to shatter the glass ceiling and become the UN’s 8th Secretary General are 4 other women candidates, out of 8 candidates so far. (Guardian), The other strong emerging contender for the position is UNESCO head Irina Bokova, who finds her support in Russia.
Another interesting aspect of these elections is that for the first time in history, there will be a transparent voting system. Where earlier, the 5 member nations of the Security Council (Britain, France, the US, Russia and China) took a decision regarding the election of the Security General, this time the chosen one’s name will then be presented at the 193 member nations’ world parliament for approval.