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Former prime minister Helen Clark, head of the United Nation's development agency, has called for climate change to be put at the centre of international development strategies.
In a speech to the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Miss Clark set out a four-point strategy for moving the development agenda forward, the ABC reported.
She called for a renewed focus on meeting goals for the future and for climate change to be placed at the centre of development thinking and strategies.
There should be particular attention to vulnerable groups.
"For a number of Pacific Island nations and communities, climate change is not just an abstract issue, not just an environmental or an economic issue," Miss Clark said.
"It is about their very survival." Developing countries needed support to recover from crises and disasters and to improve their governance.
More use should be made of strong and innovative aid partnerships, she said. Miss Clark will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Auckland University next Wednesday.
Chancellor Roger France said the degree will recognise Miss Clark's enormous contribution to New Zealand and on the international stage.
Based in New York, where she has headed the United Nations Development Programme since April last year, Miss Clark also chairs the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.