Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Clark sworn in as agency cops criticism

WELCOME ABOARD: Helen Clark and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon after her swearing-in yesterday as head of the development programme.

Helen Clark has been sworn in as the new United Nations Development Programme administrator.

With her left hand on the UN Charter and the other in the air, she pledged at a ceremony in New York yesterday to follow the UN ideals.

Miss Clark was thrown into official duties before being sworn in. She issued a report on tsunami recovery last week
with former US president Bill Clinton. He greeted her with the words: ''Helen, how are you, congratulations.''

Miss Clark takes over the UNDP as it faces stiff criticism. One page of its website is devoted to correcting ''inaccurate press reports'', of which there have apparently been eight this month alone.

The latest criticism includes complaints about the UNDP's procurement programmes, and its role in Zimbabwe
and North Korea.

Criticism of the UNDP is thought to be one reason why Miss Clark is taking fix-it woman and former chief of staff
Heather Simpson to New York.

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