Rudd seeks UN bid support

KEVIN Rudd has asked the Federal Government to support his bid to become the next United Nations secretary-general.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed on Monday that the former prime minister had thrown his hat into the ring.

"Kevin Rudd has requested that the Australian Government nominate him and as (Malcolm Turnbull) has indicated on a number of occasions that will be a matter for the Cabinet," Ms Bishop told Sky News.

Mr Rudd faces some tough opposition, with 11 others vying for the job including former New Zealand PM Helen Clark.

"He also respects the fact that the government has many other priorities at this time, having just been returned to office," Mr Rudd's office said.

"This is a matter for the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and their colleagues at a time of their choosing."

Each UN secretary-general candidate must be nominated by their country's government.