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UN needs greater global economic role, Clark says

The United Nations needs a greater role in co-ordinating global economic decisions, with finance ministers attending a beefed-up body to ensure not just the largest economies set the agenda, Helen Clark says.

With organisations such the G20, comprising of the world's 20 biggest economies, dominating measures to shore up growth after the global financial crisis, many other states were at risk of being affected without having a voice, the UN Development Programme head said in a lecture in Wellington.

That could be eased by a stronger economic body at the UN, provided it could attract the world's finance ministers to help co-ordinate a global response.

"A reformed ECOSOC [economic and social council] which attracted finance ministers to its proceedings would also give the UN a more effective forum and voice on economic and financial issues," she said.

Ms Clark was speaking at Victoria University as part of a series on international governance in lecture lecture entitled Improving Global Governance: making global institutions fit for purpose in the 21st century.

When asked how global bodies could improve their ability to respond to shocks such as the global financial crisis, she said international entities are probably better prepared now than they had been, but ongoing reform is still needed.

She cited the inability of members to reach meaningful consensus on climate change as a major issue for her as the head of the UN's development programme, but noted an increasing role taken by non-state groups, such as non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

The issue of permanent membership to the UN Security Council, and the veto right held by those members, were sticking points for the organisation and Ms Clark said recent events in Syria may revive an impetus for change.


Comments and questions

Wouldn't it have been better for the UN to have found a spokesperson with a proven record of success in economic development?

The UN would be far better to grow a spine, some balls and teeth and enforce resolutions and sanctions on the likes of the tyrants and monsters such as Assad in Syria and Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

If political diplomacy hasn't worked after all these lives have been lost due to the UN watching on the sideline - perhaps the SEAL's could offer some high-velocity or low-yield diplomacy and rid the earth of these modern-day Hitler's2.0

Enough PC non-sense and featherbedding posturing. Unleash the hounds and save the innocent populace in these countries - because if the UN are unable or unwilling to stop genocide inflicted on these people by the so-called "leaders" - who the hell else is there?

FFS - more do-ey and less hui...

The last thing the world needs is the UN. The UN's strategy is to turn the world into a homogenised society where we are all expected to sit round the campfire holding hands singing Kumbaya.

No No No The UN including Klark want a one world government so the socialists like her can steal from those who work hard and give to the lazy and useless. She is a redistibutionist like the rest of the over paid under talented UN lot.

Yep, good to see that their beloved one world currency (Emissions Trading Scheme) is being found out

Another step in Kommisaar Klark's world governance agenda-no thanks!

No it doesn't.
The UN is a corrupt organization that is the refuge of control freaks and parasites worldwide when they have outlived their current hosts.

Well now !
How many people are surprised about this ??
Helen has been into control and power and dominance for a long time now.
Also she's here just prior to the Labour Conference. What's the bet the instructions have been given and some people already know the answer to the leadership debate??

It will be a life-line for Shearer......since she sees UN 'economic development' potential in the lad.....later, after he's done an imitation of her destruction here.
Will someone rid us of this meddlesome pest......Clark.

The last thing the Free World needs to do is waste more money on the United Nations. United it is not, just a forum for despots and failed Prime MInisters.
Most of the Worlds 'Hot spots' have been as a result of the failure of the UN to act decisively, simply because the despots don't want to be next in the line for criticisim.
Clarkes proposal is another example of socialist beuracracy, which has been shown in the past to absorb millions of dollars with no effective results forthcoming. Look at the mess she left NZ in!.

Helen Clark's offering is somewhere between a bad joke and rubbing salt into the wounds.

The U.N, the most wantonly uselessly bloated organisations, ever. The same organisation that was headed by Kofi Annan, who stood idly by as the genocidal horrors in Rwanda unfolded before his very eyes. A "statesman" more adept at preening in his Armani suit and strutting the world stage in all his transparent artifice and hollow pretence, than actually accomplishing anything of note. And the current incumbent? Ban Ki-moon, about as effective as his ex-staffer now under siege as leader of the Labour Party. The U.S is barely is able to hide its disdain for this "august" world organisation, funding it under barely-disguised resentment and duress. Mike Hosking summed up the U.N on NewstalkZB, this morning.

And here we have the prodigal daughter -- extricating herself from the bowels of this moribund body -- to dispense her sage wisdom about the UN assuming a greater economic role? Let her legacy of what she left behind, here in NZ, speak as to whether she's qualified to be taken seriously. Chat to those who own leaky homes and those who lost $billions because of the slack oversight of her government's regulatory agencies that were responsible for the untold misery inflicted upon these unfortunates.

A more meaningful gesture, would be for Helen to take a wreath along to this weekend's Labour Party's conference.

What is that I hear, a socialist who wants more control of other people's money?

Shocked I tell you, shocked.

NZ needs to start making moves to exit the UN and regain its independence.

Another bonus is that leaving the UN would also entitle NZ to refuse to accept refugees

Very sad that you should think that way. At least Clark's motives are not self serving.

Her view might be different if a law was passed that all refugees had to live in Mt Albert.

11 commentators - all scathing of the UN, Clark or a combination of both - kinda paints a picture really doesn't it...

Just don't give the picture to Clark though - she might try and autograph it and pass it off as one of hers...

All socialists like Helen Clark need a bit of rendition to a permanent training camp to learn a bit about how all wealth is made - by the private sector. Until she has learned the economic lesson, she does not get out. because she has not passed the test. When she does, she can go back to UN Development and show it how to make its mark without forcing money out of people but instead by encouraging business to succeed. But no funding to that except from philanthropic charity. She must learn to ask politely for money. 12th anti clark.

We dumped her 4 years ago and she still wants to Lord it over us!

You are fools. The UN has the powers or lack of power because of the security council permanent members. Without the cooperation of these members the UN can do nothing and that is why it largely does nothing unless the US wants it done. No powerful sovereign country will give the UN the means to be effective and so it isn't.

To have an effective and responsive organisation the charter needs to be beefed up however this will not be happening anytime soon.

Your right-wing philosophies got us into at least two world wars and any number of other conflicts generally very bad for the poorest people on the planet.

If someone tries to stand up and express concern for these people you strike them down as - a dirty word now - socialist.

Bah bah boo hoo!

So you agree the U.N is useless. What was your point exactly ??

Sorry Helen-Bah bah boo hoo.?? Always thought you were more articulate than that!!

And WE don't agree with your wee outburst.

Go home--to the big tall building with all the windows where you still cannot see the light.

"it largely does nothing unless the US wants it done."

And there I was thinking it was Russia and China that was blocking UN action in Syria. Silly me.

it seems to be all the people rubbishing the UN are at the same time supporting the reason it is is so "corrupt and useless" - its the right wing idiots of the world. unless its business as usual the right wings are never happy.

Well if you have a "higher calling" like supporting the UN that you can personally fund, how about you empty your bank account and volunteer to pop across to Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Syria etc. and start saving the 3rd World. If not, you are just an armchair pseudo socialist or perhaps dare I say it, even a right winger like us.

Youve got me pretty close with the saving the world analogy, although someone emptying their bank account and heading overseas probably is only going to be able to help a handful of people. Unlike the 30% who are fairness challenged im not prepared to let an eventual 2-3 billion people die in a far flung corner of the world while I accumulate wealth and climb the pointless ladder of success to the highest rung.

And hence why you have the gall to believe you have the right to try to empty my bank account for your personal social crusade which I object too.

"The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself."
- Club of Rome, premier environmental think-tank, consultants to the United Nations

"It doesn't matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true."
- Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace

"Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?"
- Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme

"Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control."
- Professor Maurice King

"My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species,returning throughout the world."
- Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!

"A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people.
We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.''
- Prof Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb

""A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible."
- United Nations, Global Biodiversity Assessment

"A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal."
- Ted Turner, founder of CNN and major UN donor

"... the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence more than 500 million but less than one billion."
- Club of Rome, Goals for Mankind

"One America burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say. In order to
stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it's just as bad not
to say it." - Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier

"I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems."
- John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

"The extinction of the human species may not only be
inevitable but a good thing."
- Christopher Manes, Earth First!

“The extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival for millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species. Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on Earth - social and environmental.”
- Ingrid Newkirk, former President of PETA

"Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential
parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing."
- David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club

Ms Clark's single minded philosophy make it seem more apparent that her time in power in NZ was just an opportunity to network her way into a higher position in her socialist agenda. Keep your mitts of my hard earned money you parasites.

Like Ms Clark and her hand-picked coterie of South Pacific socialists, the United Nations is irrelevant and destined to the waste-basket of history.

A genuine question folks-is it true- or a hoax-that Helen is speaking at the Little Conference this weekend ??