Helen Clark powerful but unknown - report

Last updated 08:55 24/04/2012
Helen Clark
United Nations
HELEN CLARK: Head of the United Nations Development Programme.

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Former prime minister Helen Clark is well known in these parts, but according to an international journal she is one of the world's most powerful unheard-of women.

In its recent issue, Foreign Policy unveiled its list of the 25 women around the world who hold considerable power but are relatively unknown.

Clark came in at number one.

After becoming New Zealand's first elected female prime minister and winning three consecutive elections, Clark left Parliament following Labour's loss in the 2008 general election.

She went on to head the United Nations Development Programme.

In the article she appeared ''undaunted'' by dealing with cholera in Haiti and famine in Somalia.

''Her top goal as administrator, she said last fall, is no less than to eradicate extreme poverty around the world.''

Other women on the list included Chinese state councillor Liu Yandong, United States Treasury undersecretary for international affairs Lael Brainard and Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The article said the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff got all the attention, ''but they're not the only female leaders running the world''.

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