World

AP Interview: UN development chief Helen Clark hopes migrant crisis focuses attention on Syria

  • Helen Clark, head of the U.N. Development Program and former New Zealand prime minister, speaks to The Associated Press on the sidelines of an international security summit in Manama, Bahrain, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. The International Institute for Strategic Studies' Manama Dialogue opened Friday to discuss issues including extremism, security and the future of the Middle East with senior international politicians, analysts and military officials. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

    Helen Clark, head of the U.N. Development Program and former New Zealand prime minister, speaks to The Associated Press on the sidelines of an international security summit in Manama, Bahrain, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. The International Institute for Strategic Studies' Manama Dialogue opened Friday to discuss issues including extremism, security and the future of the Middle East with senior international politicians, analysts and military officials. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)  (The Associated Press)

  • Helen Clark, head of the U.N. Development Program and former New Zealand prime minister, speaks to The Associated Press on the sidelines of an international security summit in Manama, Bahrain, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. The International Institute for Strategic Studies' Manama Dialogue opened Friday to discuss issues including extremism, security and the future of the Middle East with senior international politicians, analysts and military officials. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

    Helen Clark, head of the U.N. Development Program and former New Zealand prime minister, speaks to The Associated Press on the sidelines of an international security summit in Manama, Bahrain, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. The International Institute for Strategic Studies' Manama Dialogue opened Friday to discuss issues including extremism, security and the future of the Middle East with senior international politicians, analysts and military officials. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations development chief says she hopes the migrant crisis confronting Europe is refocusing attention on the plight of refugees fleeing the fighting in Syria as she urged donor nations to give more generously to meet relief needs.

Helen Clark made the comments during an interview with The Associated Press in Bahrain on Friday in which she said that those refugees who are stuck in camps or other substandard accommodation for years are "going to try to break out."

Clark heads the United Nations Development Program and is the highest-ranking woman at the U.N.

She also voiced support for Iran's involvement in the ongoing talks on Syria's crisis that are taking place in Vienna, saying that "it's definitely helpful to have Iran there."