Kevin Rudd's bid to run for the United Nations' top job is set to fail, according to The Australian.

The Australian Cabinet will decide today whether to nominate Rudd for the UN Secretary-General role, in a contest which includes New Zealand's former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

The Australian newspaper is reporting that there is strong opposition within the Cabinet to formally endorsing Rudd.

While Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Rudd - a former Labor Prime Minister - was "qualified" for the role, no other minister had publicly backed him.


The Australian quoted a Liberal MP, who said: "It will make people very angry if Malcolm Turnbull can't find a place for former Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott on his frontbench but can back a former Labor prime minister for the top job at the UN."

A group of senior ministers were against backing Rudd because they were concerned about his suitability for the role, the UN's preference for a woman, and the potential political cost of backing the former Labor leader.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is said to have opposed Rudd's nomination before the country's general election.

He said yesterday the endorsement was not a priority and that it would be a "Cabinet decision".

Australia's Labor Party were also reported to be divided about supporting their former leader.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott declined to support Rudd's nomination in 2014, saying that he had made a commitment to support New Zealand's candidate.

Clark is among 12 candidates in the contest to replace Ban Ki-Moon, whose term ends in December.