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Rudd asks for Turnbull government support

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/07/2016

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has asked the Turnbull government to endorse his nomination to become United Nations Secretary-General.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed his request ahead of the first gathering of Liberal MPs since the federal election.

"As the prime minister has indicated on a number of occasions that will be a matter for the cabinet," Ms Bishop told Sky News on Monday.

Under the UN charter, the secretary-general is chosen by the general assembly - which meets in September - on the recommendation of the 15-member security council.

In the past, the position has been rotated between global regions, with Asia's Ban Ki-moon taking it up last time and high expectations Europe will get the gig this time.

There is also a strong push for the position to go to a female candidate for the first time in the United Nations' history.

An Essential poll in April found 45 per cent of voters favoured another candidate, former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark, for the role with 21 per cent preferring Mr Rudd.

Another of the frontrunners is the Bulgarian head of UNESCO Irina Bokova.

Mr Rudd, a former diplomat and foreign minister, has been engaged in low-key lobbying of the UN Security Council's permanent members - China, Britain, Russia, France and the US - whose endorsement is crucial.

Labor has urged the government to endorse Mr Rudd.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in May if an Australian candidate came forward "the cabinet will consider it and give it due attention".

Ban Ki-moon's term as secretary-general expires at the end of 2016.

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