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Helen Clark
Helen Clark has remained a fixture on Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Powerful Women since her election as Prime Minister of her native New Zealand in 1999, coming in at 21 this year. She had already served as a member of Parliament for 18 years before being elected an impressive three times as Prime Minister, serving for nine years. Her time as Prime Minister was marked by significant economic growth, low levels of unemployment, and high levels of investment in education and health, and in the well-being of families and older citizens. In 2009, she became the first woman to head the UN Development Program (UNDP) and is responsible for leading the UN’s development activities in over 170 countries worldwide. Since assuming this position, she has been a tireless advocate for women’s empowerment, particularly in the poorest countries, meeting with groups of influential women in each and every country she visits to ensure their voices and needs are heard.

Entries by Helen Clark

Work Helps People Escape Poverty

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 8:12 AM

2015 has been a remarkable year for development, with new agendas agreed on financing for development, reducing disaster risk, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Agendas and goals, however, are one thing; implementing them is another. Much will depend on whether the world can provide the decent jobs and livelihoods...

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A Zero-Carbon Future

(4) Comments | Posted December 2, 2015 | 12:54 PM

Crops sensitive to small fluctuations in temperature and humidity, such as coffee, pictured here in Uganda, are increasingly threatened by the effects of climate change. Coffee is an important supplemental cash crop for subsistence farmers in many parts of the world.

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Sustainable Development Needs Public Participation

(1) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 11:32 AM

In 2015, a new global development agenda setting priorities for the next fifteen years has been launched. World leaders adopted Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September at the United Nations.

These goals represent a commitment by all countries to tackle some of the toughest...

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Why the Sustainable Development Goals Matter

(5) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 2:27 PM

This week, more than 150 world leaders will come to New York for the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 where an ambitious new agenda for sustainable development will be adopted -- the Sustainable Development Goals.

Do global agendas matter? Yes, they do.

The Millennium Development Goals -- the MDGs...

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The Extra Costs of Conflict

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 10:37 AM

While conflicts between nations have dramatically decreased since World War II, the number of violent conflicts within countries are cause for great concern. These conflicts are undoing years of development gains, and their impacts are often spilling over borders to destabilize other countries, too. In a number of countries, high...

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An Opportunity For Women's Equality

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 11:00 AM

The Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995 was a momentous gathering of women from around the world and from all walks of life. They committed to an agenda for full gender equality and women's empowerment. Their aspirations were enshrined in the Beijing Platform for Action which...

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Momentum Remains High for Forests' Role in Sustainable Development and Tackling Climate Change

(1) Comments | Posted January 24, 2015 | 1:28 PM

This week at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the crucial role of forests in tackling climate change is on the agenda.

I will give the opening speech at the session on "Reducing Tropical Deforestation Related to Key Agricultural Commodities". Invited panelists include President Humala of Peru; Laurent...

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Haiyan Six Months On: A Promising Start on the Long Road to Recovery

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 6:39 PM

Six months after one of the strongest tropical storms ever recorded on earth slammed into the Philippines last November, killing more than 6,200 people and displacing over 4 million, the physical signs of recovery are increasingly visible.

The Philippines authorities at all levels and affected communities have played a...

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Raising Citizens of The World

(1) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 10:00 AM

This post is part of the Global Moms Relay. Every time you share this post, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per action), up to $275,000, to the Global Moms Relay, to help improve the health and well-being of moms and kids worldwide in support of MAMA,...

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Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls: An Urgent Priority

(25) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 11:37 AM

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women -- a day which reminds us that violence against women continues to be destructive and pervasive. Ranging from domestic violence and child marriages to the use of rape as a tactic of war, violence against women kills as...

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Haiti - Building Resilience

(5) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 8:00 PM

When the devastating earthquake of 2010 struck Haiti, 24-hour rolling news carried heartbreaking stories of destroyed lives and livelihoods. Images of rubble and destruction shocked the world - all that remained of large parts of the country. The sheer scale was unprecedented: 230,000 people killed, 300,000 injured and 1.5million displaced.

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We Must Do More to Address Costs of Climate Change

(4) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 5:00 PM

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy reminds us once again of the destructive potential of extreme weather -- even in a developed country such as the United States, and even with ample warning and swift emergency response. From Kingston, Jamaica, to Jamaica, Queens, this "perfect storm" exacted a deadly toll...

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Democracy Cannot Be Exported or Imposed

(3) Comments | Posted September 15, 2011 | 3:32 PM

On this International Day of Democracy, we reflect on the human desire for dignity, inclusion and freedom, which has seen millions of people across the Arab world demanding change.

Many lives have been lost, and are still being lost, as regimes and their opponents have faced off against each...

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Opportunities for Economic and Political Inclusion in the Arab Spring

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2011 | 5:52 PM

In recent months, millions of people came onto the streets of a number of Arab States demanding change.

In Tunisia and Egypt, these uprisings led to the downfall of regimes. In Libya, intense conflict continues. Elsewhere, many lives have also been lost as regimes and their opponents have faced...

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Jobs, Equity and Voice: Why Both Economic and Political Inclusion Matter in the Arab World

(2) Comments | Posted April 7, 2011 | 7:52 PM

At this moment in history, with events unfolding in the Arab States, the world finds itself at a defining moment, the implications of which are enormous for our common future.

A combination of economic and political exclusion and injustice has brought millions of people in the Arab States region on...

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Women and Power

(2) Comments | Posted June 7, 2010 | 10:05 AM

As Prime Minister of my country for nine years and the first woman to lead the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), I believe that achieving gender equality is not only morally right, but also catalytic to development as a whole, creating political, economic, and social opportunities for women which benefit...

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