18 Jul 2016

Kevin Rudd seeks Australian government nomination for UN secretary-general job

5:00 pm on 18 July 2016

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd is going for the job of United Nations secretary-general.

Helen Clark and Kevin Rudd

If nominated by the Australian government, Kevin Rudd, right, will go up against former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark for the role of UN secretary-general role. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson / AFP

Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop said Mr Rudd had asked the federal government to nominate him.

The announcement brings to an end months of speculation over Mr Rudd's bid for the role, currently held by Ban Ki-Moon.

Twelve candidates including former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark are already vying to replace Ban Ki-moon when he steps down at the end of the year.

"Kevin Rudd has requested that the Australian Government nominate him and, as the Prime Minister has indicated on a number of occasions, that'll be a matter for cabinet," she told Sky News.

"I'll certainly put the matter forward."

Previously, South Australian Liberal senator Cory Bernardi had urged Ms Bishop not to endorse a "dysfunctional", "unstable", "megalomaniac" like Mr Rudd.

Senator Bernardi told the ABC in February that "the Australian public would be very disappointed if we endorsed such a person for this significant role".