Germany's Merkel turns down UN job offer

Dr Angela Merkel has stayed out of the political spotlight since handing over Germany's chancellorship to Mr Olaf Scholz. PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Former German chancellor Angela Merkel has turned down the offer of a job at the United Nations, her office said on Wednesday (Jan 19), a month after she stepped down as Europe's most powerful politician after 16 years at the helm.

Dr Merkel, 67, called UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last week to thank him for the job he had offered her in a letter, and to tell him she would not accept it, the office said, without elaborating.

German media reported that Mr Guterres had offered Dr Merkel the chair of a high-level UN advisory body on global public goods, one of his flagship reform projects.

It will focus on issues such as the ozone layer, vaccines and outer-space debris.

Dr Merkel, a conservative, has stayed out of the political spotlight since handing over Germany's chancellorship to Mr Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat.

She is working on a political memoir with her long-time aide, according to an interview in Der Spiegel, but little else is known about Dr Merkel's life in retirement.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.