Rudd shoots down UN job claims

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Kevin Rudd says Malcolm Turnbull didn’t back him for UN job because he ‘lost courage of his convictions’.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he has not approached another country for the UN job. Picture: AFP / Prakash Singh

KEVIN Rudd has shot down speculation another country was going to back him for a late run at the United Nations’ top job.

There is speculation in New York the former prime minister has lined up another nation to back his run for the soon-to-be vacant secretary-general’s position.

New York-based Inner City Press stoked the speculation on the weekend.

“Even at this late stage there are dark horses and dreamers,” Inner City Press, in a report on the numerous plots, twists and late candidates in the election, states.

“Kevin Rudd doesn’t hide it, and Inner City Press hears he’s lined up a country other than Australia which could nominate him.”

Kevin Rudd says UN claims are untrue. Picture: Stefan Postles/Getty Images

Kevin Rudd says UN claims are untrue. Picture: Stefan Postles/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

But Rudd said he was not a candidate.

“The report is false,” a spokesperson for Mr Rudd said.

“Mr Rudd has not approached any governments, other than Australia, to endorse him as a candidate for UN secretary-general.”

Mr Rudd’s hopes were dashed when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull rejected his lobbying to be Australia’s representative.

New Zealand’s hope, former prime minister Helen Clark, has languished toward the bottom of the candidates and the field to replace current secretary-general Ban Ki-moon was shaken up last week when Bulgaria nominated and switched its backing to economist Kristalina Georgieva from director-general of UNESCO Irina Bokova. Former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres has been the frontrunner in the UN Security Council’s straw polls.

“It should be noted in a Channel 7 news item on the 23rd September it was reported ‘a leader of another country has told Malcolm Turnbull they might nominate Mr Rudd for the UN Secretary General’s job, even if he won’t’,” Mr Rudd’s spokesperson said.

“Mr Rudd has not agreed to any such proposal from another country. “Mr Rudd is not a candidate for UN Secretary-General.”