Retired Angela Merkel turns down UN role

Former German chancellor turned down offer as she settles into her retirement after 16 years in power

Former German chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a session of the Bundestag in Berlin, Germany. Reuters
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Former German chancellor Angela Merkel has turned down a job offer from the UN, her office said on Wednesday, as she settles into retirement after 16 years in power.

UN sources confirmed that Secretary General Antonio Guterres had asked Ms Merkel to lead an advisory panel on a “common agenda” for government after the pandemic that he set out late last year.

Ms Merkel “spoke with the UN secretary general last week, thanked him and told him she would not be accepting the offer”, her office said in a statement, confirming media reports.

The 67-year-old Ms Merkel left office last month and was succeeded by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz at the helm of a three-way coalition with the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats.

Despite feverish speculation as to what she might do next, Ms Merkel remained tight-lipped, hinting only at a quiet life of books and sleep.

However, her long-time aide Beate Baumann revealed last month that they were collaborating on Ms Merkel's political memoirs, a project she said would take two to three years.

Updated: January 19, 2022, 10:51 PM