'Mate, you're dreaming': Kevin Rudd's UN hopes dashed, but what does it mean for Helen Clark? video

THE PANEL/Radio New Zealand

Australian politicians are conflicted over supporting Kevin Rudd's tilt for the UN Secretary General.

OPINION: Kevin Rudd's own Government does not think he is up to the task of leading the United Nations. 

That has to sting.

The former Australian Prime Minister and UN Secretary-General hopeful failed to get support after the decision was left to a "captain's call" by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Helen Clark v Kevin Rudd - Rudd praised Clark in April when she entered the UN race.
Reuters

Helen Clark v Kevin Rudd - Rudd praised Clark in April when she entered the UN race.

That leaves the candidate line-up as is, and one highly respected candidate from down under is in the 12-horse race.

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Australia is yet to formally announce who it will support.

Former Slovenian President Danilo Turk speaks during a debate in the United Nations General Assembly in July between ...
MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS

Former Slovenian President Danilo Turk speaks during a debate in the United Nations General Assembly in July between candidates vying to be the next UN Secretary General.

Turnbull was coy on whether his Government would throw its weight behind former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark's bid to lead the UN. 

Nor would he comment on the bitter debate reportedly held within Cabinet over whether or not to back Rudd. 

 

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"I do not want to add to Mr Rudd's disappointment," he said. 

Indeed reports from Australia suggest that those who supported Rudd's bid, including Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop - only did so because it would break with tradition in supporting other prominent Australians for international roles. 

So what does this mean for Clark? Likely, very little. 

Once the salt has has been washed out of the wounds for Rudd, it's likely the Australian Government would support Clark. 

That will help - Clark will be grateful for all the support she can get. 

The Government under Turnbull's predecessor Tony Abbott had in fact promised it's support to her, but Turnbull took a more appropriate approach - respectfully withdrawing while Rudd made up his mind.  

Now that he has, and been formally told by the highest seat in his land they're not prepared to stick out their necks for him, he may prove to be disruptive for Clark. 

Aussie Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has famously said "Kevin's ego makes Donald Trump's look like a rounding error."

But for our pick - and it shouldn't need reminding Clark has the full support of the New Zealand Government, including her own dedicated diplomatic corps - it's business as usual.

After an official straw poll earlier this month, Clark found herself middle of the pack and further down the rankings than many expected, that business may be tough going. 

It was a shock result, and one that some are regarding as a strategic move to eliminate one of the strongest candidates.

The two leading contenders are former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Gueterres and former Slovenian president Danilo Turk. 

Speculation is already mounting that the "old boys network" is prevailing, despite a clear mood in the wider assembly that the UN is ready for a female Secretary General. 

Clark is still in the running however, after coming in between fourth and sixth, but Eastern European woman candidate Irina Bokova is ahead of her. 

The UN Security Council will consider nominated candidates from next month, before taking a resolution for the role to the General Assembly.

This is really where it matters, because the chosen one will rise from the geo-political ashes once the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China and France have dished out their vetoes.

As for Rudd, she'll be right mate. 

 

 - Stuff

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