Rudd’s UN bid now rudderless, as Turnbull declines to get in behind

Aussie prime minister declares ex-PM unsuited for United Nations Secretary General position.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced today he will not to support Kevin Rudd’s bid to become the first Australian – and Australasian for that matter – United Nations Secretary General.

"The threshold point here,” Mr Turnbull said at a press conference in Canberra, “is when the Australian Government nominates a person for a job, particularly an international job like this, the threshold question is, 'do we believe the person, the nominee, the would-be nominee is well suited for that position?’

“My judgement is that Mr Rudd is not.”

Although Mr Turnbull said he’d explained to Mr Rudd his reasons for reaching this conclusion, he declined to share them with journalists.

A week-and-a-half ago it seemed a political solution had been reached in which the federal cabinet would endorse a move to nominate Mr Rudd but the government likely decline to campaign on his behalf, as New Zealand is doing for Helen Clark’s tilt.

Indeed, Australians are more enthusiastic about the prospect of Ms Clark winning the post than they are regarding Mr Rudd’s run – a recent Essential poll found 45% of Australians supported Ms Clark’s bid, versus 21% getting in behind Mr Rudd.

There is apparently even less support for Mr Rudd’s ambitions within cabinet ranks, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop one of very few arguing in favour of the nomination.

According to, “Other Coalition figures have warned Mr Rudd would be an embarrassment to Australia and even dangerous in the role, with one going as far as to say he would prefer to see a dog, specifically former NSW Labor premier Kristina Keneally’s Labrador, picked for the job.”

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