By Bill Varner
March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark will be named today as the next administrator of the United Nations Development Program by Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon, according to a UN official.
Clark, who lost the 2008 general election after nine years as prime minister, will be approved by the agency’s board and then by the UN General Assembly, according to the official, who spoke on condition of not being identified before Ban makes the announcement.
New Zealand’s National Party defeated Clark’s Labour Party in a Nov. 8 election, with former Merrill Lynch & Co. trader John Key ending her tenure as prime minister after the economy fell into recession. Clark was seeking to become the first Labour Party leader to win four elections after winning power in 1999. She has led the party since 1993.
The UNDP’s annual budget of more than $1 billion is based on voluntary contributions. It has projects in 165 nations.
The agency’s administrator is one of the UN’s highest ranked officials after the secretary-general and deputy secretary-general. Clark’s priority will be achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, which include halving world poverty and hunger by 2015.