This petition of April 2016 was removed from change.org
I took a copy before it was removed, because somehow I had a vague feeling it would be taken down. If anyone knows why if was removed, please tell me.
Petitioning United Nations and 3 others
Helen Clark Is Not A Suitable Candidate for UN Secretary General
started by Ella Benny New Zealand
We the undersigned strongly oppose the nomination of Helen Clark for the role of UN Secretary General.
The world stands at a historical precipice, and the United Nations requires strong, bold leadership that will not buckle to the many pressures from those that stand to benefit from continued abuse of people and the environment. Indeed – the leadership required will be of the kind that holds true to the identified goals and cannot be swayed from achieving them.
Helen Clark came under just this type of pressure whilst she was PM, and many decisions were then made that, at a global level, would set us far back from achieving the many important goals that the UN has defined.
Although Helen Clark, and indeed this government, will be swift to present her time as Prime Minister as a valuable credential, we feel it is vital to have a full, robust assessment of her track record in this area.
In particular we wish to highlight the following:
That Helen Clark came into power on promises of equity for New Zealand Maori and Pacific peoples, under her “Closing the Gaps” policy. After winning the election all references to this policy were dropped from official documentation, and during the term of Helen Clark’s government (1997-2008) the “gaps” in social outcomes actually increased.
That Helen Clark authorised the sustained illegal surveillance and violent invasion of Māori homes around the country in 2007. This included the lockdown of the entire community of Ruatoki. Families were torn from their beds, marched from their homes, forced to the ground, searched and interrogated at gunpoint. A schoolbus was boarded with police in balaclavas brandishing automatic firearms. Children were kept in sheds for hours on end with no food, water, or access to a toilet. This particular event has been condemned by a number of UN human rights officials and rapporteurs. Many families remain traumatised by this event, and it was acknowledged to have set race relations within NZ back by 100 years.
That in her time as Prime Minister, Helen Clark oversaw the single largest land dispossession event of modern times, through the 2005 Foreshore and Seabed Act. This act alienated 10 million hectares of Maori land, and is regarded by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples Professor Stavenhagen as a discriminatory law and a breach of the human rights of Maori. This act was so controversial that it resulted in 50,000 people marching in protest to parliament, where Helen Clark refused to come out to meet them, and also resulted in the formation of a new political party in recognition of the fact that Helen Clark’s party, under pressure from competing interests, could not care for the interests of indigenous people.
That Helen Clark refused to sign the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous People’s. New Zealand was one of only four nations that voted against the agreement, of which 144 other nations voted in favour. Clark’s government labelled UNDRIP divisive, un-implementable and incompatible with New Zealand constitutional and legislative arrangements. This document remained unsigned for the remainder of her time in parliament.
That Helen Clark responded to the dire emergency of Climate Change with the strongly criticised Emissions Trade Scheme. Since its implementation New Zealand’s emissions have increased, and we now have one of the fastest rates of emission increase in the world. Helen Clark’s government refused to commit to a significant number of the policies needed for strong leadership on climate change, supported continued coal production and refused to make NZ’s agricultural sector (responsible for the largest GHG emissions in NZ) responsible for their emissions.
That, in the time of Helen Clark’s leadership, New Zealand’s freshwater crisis intensified, characterised by cases such as the Tarawera River “Black Drain”, where legislation intended to protect our environment was amended by Helen Clark’s government to allow the continued intensive pollution of this river. Nationally, studies have confirmed that our overall freshwater quality declined significantly between 1998 – 2007, the period of Helen Clark’s term as Prime Minister.
When surveyed on their willingness to commit to 25 policies that would tackle climate change, clean up New Zealand’s rivers, save our oceans, protect natural heritage and exercise environmental leadership, Helen Clark’s government refused to make clear commitments, and we are paying for the legacy of this conservative approach today, with some of the most severe environmental challenges we have ever faced.
These cases are clear examples of Helen Clark’s tendency to cater to the establishment, and lead conservative levels of change, which would be disastrous when we live in times that demand bold, innovative decision-making.
We believe the role of UN General Secretary requires a strong leader, one committed to issues such as environmental and indigenous rights. Clark’s clear inability to champion the wellbeing of the environment, and indigenous people, makes her unsuitable for this role. We therefore ask that you DO NOT support her bid for the role of General Secretary.
Here’s my extracts: UNDP, and Helen Clark in particular, took the Petrie report personally,” said Edward Mortimer, who served as a top advisor to former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. But “even if you think the report is wrong it is not a reason to discriminate in giving them a job.” Petrie — a veteran U.N. player who once worked for UNDP — characterized UNDP’s treatment of Sinha in an email to FP as “an extraordinary demonstration of vindictiveness and abuse of authority.” Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Susana Malcorra, Ban’s chief of staff at the time and currently a candidate for secretary-general herself, reached out to Clark’s office to urge UNDP to back down. Philippe Bolopion, the deputy director for global advocacy at Human Rights Watch. Bolopion claimed UNDP has resisted Ban’s efforts to strengthen the U.N.’s human rights advocacy. In turf wars Clark and her aides sought to dilute a proposal to deploy teams of human rights experts and conflict specialists to countries beset by a sudden influx of violence.