Giving Global Citizens Confidence in the UN

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14:  Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark speaks during a series of meetings with candidates vy
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark speaks during a series of meetings with candidates vying for the position of United Nations (UN) secretary-general on April 14, 2016 in New York City. At least eight candidates are running for the office - four men and four women. A woman selection would be the first for the UN. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

As one who has seen the work of the United Nations from near and far over many years, I strongly believe the world is a better place because of its work. Over the past 70 years, it has helped end conflicts, fostered development, set standards for human rights, contained the proliferation of nuclear weapons and established international legal frameworks where none had existed. Just last year, it was the forum for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and for the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals.

The challenges of today's globalised world are ever more complex and interconnected. The United Nations remains our only genuinely global gathering place with the convening power to bring together nations, civil society and the private sector to share ideas and seek solutions. But the problems we are trying to solve today are not the problems of 1945.

Member States are looking to the United Nations to be adaptable so as to move with the times. They are making unprecedented demands on our only fully multilateral Organisation across all its spheres of action, from peacekeeping to humanitarian relief. This means we need the United Nations to be modern in its working methods, responsive, respected and well resourced. It means our global citizens, and in particular our young people, need to have confidence in its capacity to deliver results.

At a time when the relevance of the United Nations is being questioned and its effectiveness criticised, it will be critically important for the next Secretary-General to be the best person for this unique role, a proven leader who is chosen for competence, experience and knowledge of world affairs rather than their birth place.

I have presented myself as a candidate because I am confident I have the wide range of skills and experience necessary for leadership at this level. I have served three consecutive terms as New Zealand's Prime Minister. In my current role as Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, I have gained a deep insight into what makes for successful development. I have understood how inseparable are all three pillars of the United Nations Charter -- peace and security, development and human rights.

My vision of a fully effective and dynamic United Nations is one that can deliver results to future generations; an organisation that is flexible, practical and effective and can anticipate and respond to the world's problems.

The position of United Nations Secretary-General is doubtless one of the world's most challenging leadership roles. It must be exercised in seamless cooperation with Member States, regional organisations, other agencies and the private sector. It is about convening and persuading, about catalysing the ideas and energy of others. It is not about status or ego but about being pragmatic and getting things done. I have demonstrated my ability to work in this way in my past leadership roles.

If selected, it would be the greatest privilege to build on the good work of previous Secretaries-General of the United Nations, and to make my contribution to modernising and strengthening the Organisation. What the United Nations does or does not do affects the lives of millions of people every day.

The United Nations needs a proven leader who is action focused and can communicate the Charter's message of hope and solidarity. I believe I am that person.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post regarding the selection and appointment of the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. A new Secretary-General will take office on January 1, 2017, and each of the declared candidates for the position was invited to participate in this blog series. The President of the General Assembly noted that, this year, the selection process will have more transparency than ever before. The declared candidates for the position are listed by the UN here. To see all the posts in the series, visit here.

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