Kevin Rudd is reportedly off and running hard in the race to succeed Ban Ki-moon as secretary-general of the United Nations. While Ban will not leave office until the end of 2016, World Politics Reviewreportsthat a lot of pretty serious politicians want to run the UN.
Two people who do seem to want to be secretary-general are both Antipodean ex-premiers: Helen Clark and Kevin Rudd. Clark, prime minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008, now runs the U.N. Development Program, and signaled her desire to replace Ban in an interview with the Guardian earlier this year. Her prospects would improve if Ban and she can secure a deal on future international development goals, which should be finalized at a U.N. summit in September 2015.
Meanwhile Rudd, Australian prime minister from 2007 to 2010 and again briefly last year, has a strong reputation for top-level multilateral diplomacy. He was one of the few leaders said to have impressed President Barack Obama in G-20 debates during the financial crisis. Rudd has been energetically engaging in U.N. affairs over the past six months, reportedly lobbying to be the organization’s next envoy to Syria.