Cairo-Helen Clark, the former prime minister of New Zealand and its candidate for the post of United Nations Secretary-General, said that she is qualified and has enough experience to replace U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon.
Clark told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the fight against terrorism requires the cooperation of all intelligence agencies in the world because this phenomenon affects all countries.
“The current Secretary-General is leaving his post after a ten-year service. It comes at a time when the world is facing dangerous challenges and the international community is expecting the U.N. to play an important role,” she said.
“It is time for a person like me to be at the head of this organization because I have the required leadership and administrative skills,” Clark told the daily.
When asked about criticism that the U.N. has failed in resolving several problems and crises, mainly in the Middle East, she said: “I admit that there are disagreements inside the Security Council. But it is important to differentiate between the U.N. as an organization and the role of the Secretary-General.”
“The most important job that the Secretary-General can do is working on becoming a force to attract all member states to meet and resolve many problems, and focus on preventing the eruption of such crises,” she added.
About the failure to implement U.N. resolutions, Clark told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The resolutions are one thing and the implementation is something else.”
“That’s why it is important to issue practical resolutions,” she said.
Asked about reform, she said: “The U.N. needs a person like me who knows how to communicate and coordinate with all governments and civil society around the world to revitalize the role of the United Nations.”
On terrorism and ways to fight it, the former PM said: “Fighting terrorism is one of the top priorities because it has affected all the countries of the world.”
She called for the cooperation of all intelligence and security agencies in the world to resolve the problem of terrorism not militarily but by finding solutions to its reasons.
“Education, the creation of job opportunities and the improvement of skills are necessary,” she said, calling for “the consolidation of the values of tolerance and dialogue.”
Asked about the situation in the Arab world, Clark said: “The past five years have been difficult and witnessed many changes.”
When told that the U.N. has not been able to resolve the situation in Syria and Libya politically, she said: “U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura is seeking to revive the dialogue between Syria’s different factions.”
“U.N. Libya envoy Martin Kobler is also trying for the different movements in Libya to reach an agreement,” she said.
“The same applies to Yemen where U.N. special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is exerting efforts to oversee the dialogue that would lead to permanent peace,” she added.