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Last week I visited El Salvador, a country I had read about for many years before and since its civil war. The latter is dated as beginning in 1980, and ending with UN-facilitated peace accords in January 1992. The 25th anniversary of the accords will be marked on 16 January next year. Today El Salvador is facing a scourge of armed violence (in 2015 it had the highest homicide rate in the...
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I've been in Honduras over the past two days, meeting partners and looking at UNDP work. Today I visited two initiatives supported by the Adaptation Fund of the Global Environment Facility and implemented by UNDP with government and municipal partners. In the photos below: 1. A local resident in a steep hillside neighborhood showed us how heavy rains in the past had swept through homes causing...
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Just completed a wonderful three day visit to Burkina Faso . A highlight of it was the journey to Dori, capital of the northern Sahel region, for the launch of a new programme by the President to boost local development, including through rolling out more basic energy installations in villages and supporting micro-business and SME development. The photos below show some of the added value...
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Another incredible day in Tafilalet region of Morocco looking at sustainable development initiatives in which UNDP is involved. In the photos: 1. Women in Goulmima: this township now has a laundromat which saves women huge amounts of time - previously they hand washed everything in the river, which was also bad for water quality. Now they have time for work which earns income. 2. This photo...
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Traditional welcome in Merzouga, eastern Morocco, today, where UNDP supports development of sustainable ecotourism. Also visited rural development initiatives which are part of the UNDP Tafiladet Oasis Programme: working to preserve oasis ecosystems, introduce drip irrigation & solar power, support eco-education in schools, and improve livelihoods. This is one of the poorest regions of Morocco.
Today I'm visiting UNDP programmes in East Morocco . The Tafiladet Oasis Programme is about integrated rural development which protects the oasis ecosystems. UNDP has introduced solar power, drip irrigation, higher value medicinal and herb crops - al leading to improved livelihoods in one of Morocco's poorest regions. Ecotourism is also being supported, along with eco-education in schools. The...
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A highlight of my visit to Equatorial Guinea was visiting the Gran Caldera de Luba Scientific Reserve at the southern end of Bioko, the island on which the country's capital is located. The area has large tracts of virgin forest and great biodiversity - seven species of primates are there along with rare birds and endangered turtles. UNDP has Global Environment Facility-funded work in the...
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Just arrived in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, for annual meeting of United Nations Development Programme - UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa. Follow this visit on HelenClarkUNDP on Twitter, Instagram, & Snapchat!
I arrived in Dominican Republic yesterday for events around a UNDP social development conference. See my Snapchat story here on arrival in Santo Domingo and walking around the historic town centre last night. More to come on the conference and seeing UNDP work here! Follow me on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram on HelenClarkUNDP. Hasta la vista! PNUD República Dominicana UNDP in Latin America and...
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I loved my visit to Ecuador and having the opportunity to meet with UNDP partners. It was special to spend a day with indigenous communities north of Quito, and to see how UNDP, supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), has been working through the GEF Small Grants Programme to support micro and small entrepreneurs there. Sustainable agricultural production is one area, and support...
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The horror before our eyes in Aleppo, Syria: read this very powerful statement by the UN's Emergency Relief Co-ordinator, Stephen O'Brien to the UN Security Council today. Stephen describes the hell through which civilians are living, and calls for the Security Council to act. In the sixth year of this horrible conflict, the Security Council has yet to agree on how this war can end. Meanwhile...
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I'm in Quito, Ecuador, for HABITAT3, and out and about seeing United Nations Development Programme - UNDP work on the ground. Follow my day on HelenClarkUNDP on Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter! PNUD Ecuador
The news is out: the next United Nations Secretary-General will be Antonio Guterres. I congratulate Antonio on his win. We have known each other since we were both Prime Ministers, and have worked together at the UN - Antonio as High Commissioner for Refugees, and me as UNDP Administrator and Chair of Uhe UN Development Group. He has the knowledge and the experience to do the job and do it...
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António Guterres to be next UN secretary general

theguardian.com
In recent weeks I traveled to Cameroon to meet partners in the capital, Yaounde, and then to go to the Far North of the country which has been put under huge stress in the past couple of years by the Boko Haram attacks. The photo shows women and children in an informal camp of internally displaced people (IDPs). Their leader read me a petition asking for help - they had no potable water, nor...
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The Leaders' Week at the UN is over - as usual it was for me a whirl of events and meetings. As New Zealand is chairing the Security Council this month, and both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs came to New York, there was a sizeable NZ media contingent - and a lot of interest in my #Helen4SG candidacy! Here's my interview with Paddy Gower of TV3, exploring the various...
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'It ain’t over yet' - Helen Clark on UN secretary-general bid

newshub.co.nz
At this week's UN General Assembly meetings where leaders come from around the world to discuss the big issues, we are all working hard on outreach via social media. The UN's communications team have a dedicated social media space where people can do a Facebook Live chat, message via Twitter Mirror, and have a classy Instagram shot taken! My press secretary, Christina Lo Nigro, interviewed me...
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Late today I did a Facebook Live chat at UN HQs with Tracey Watkins of Wellington's Dominion Post. Tracey is one of a number of New Zealand journalists who are in New York for this High Level Week at the UN General Assembly. We spoke mainly about the ongoing UN Secretary-General selection process. Check out the video! And remember to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Helen4SG #Helen4SG and...
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The fourth straw poll to select the #nextSG was held on Friday; the results are captured in the graphic below. The voting has been volatile, and a group of candidates, which includes me, is quite tightly bunched. In this latest poll, I lost one "discourage" vote - which is helpful. I'm hanging in. There is one more straw poll on 26 September. The week prior to that is the Leaders' Week at the...
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On my recent visit to Africa, I visited Moyale in Marsabit County in Kenya, a town on the border with Ethiopia. This area has experienced significant conflict in recent years, leading to loss of life, displacement, and the destruction of homes and other infrastructure, including a major school. Peace was negotiated between the warring groups, and a peace committee of community leaders was...
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In late August, I traveled to Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, to meet UNDP staff and our government, civil society, and UN partners. Somalia has experienced decades of conflict, and unfortunately that has yet to end. Nonetheless, the country is just completing the current four year terms of a presidency and parliament, and elections for both will be held in the next few weeks. There is a target...
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