Helen Clark will be laying low in New York this week preparing for her crucial appearance at the United Nations General Assembly early Friday, NZ time, about her bid to run the show.

Each of the candidates will get an individual two-hour session with as many representatives of the 193 members who want to turn up.

Each is also asked to submit a written statement of up to 2000 words.

Soon after the former Prime Minister declared her candidacy on Tuesday she took off for a scheduled conference in Cairo as head of the UN Development Programme and arrived back in New York on Friday. "It was a major conference between the League of Arab states UNDP and the Government of Egypt on the sustainable development goals and I didn't feel I could withdraw from it."


She said she did not use the conference to campaign.

But after next Friday's session, phase three of her campaign will commence - visiting foreign ministers and leaders in capitals around the world.

"When you campaign you have phases. The first phase was launching the candidacy; the next focus is the General Assembly next week and then on to visiting capitals."

Her campaign team, which is divided between New York and Foreign Affairs in Wellington, is working on a schedule of visits in co-ordination with Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

Before any meeting Clark has with Russia, McCully is trying to arrange a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, possibly in Moscow. It would be the first visit by any New Zealand minister since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

Clark said she was delighted with the social media response to her campaign launch.

"My personal Facebook page has gone crazy," she said.

"It is somewhere over 275,000 reached on my post. That is just me. There is not a team behind the personal page. That is me. So that is huge reach."

She also has a new Twitter account for the campaign, @Helen4SG.