CANBERRA, July 20 (Xinhua) — Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's bid to become secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) has been boosted after former senior Australian diplomat Richard Woolcott threw support behind his countryman.

On Wednesday, Woolcott urged government to formally nominate Rudd for the position, following Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's confirmation the former Labor PM had approached the government for endorsement.

Woolcott told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that the government should support an Australian endeavor, regardless of which side of politics he sat.

"If an Australian decides to stand I think the Australian government should support that Australian," Woolcott said on Wednesday.

The former ambassador to the UN said Rudd has a strong relationship with China, while he would also fare well when dealing with other, Western nations.

However Rudd's Labor background, whereas Abbott is a Liberal MP, would work in his favor with Russia, Woolcott said.

Thirteen candidates have been formally endorsed thus far, including former New Zealand, Prime Minister Helen Clark, whom many government MPs would prefer to see as UN secretary general in place of Rudd.

Senior political commentators, too, have criticized Rudd's nomination, with former New South Wales Premier and writer Kristina Keneally describing Rudd as a "psychopathic narcissist".

"I can think of 12 Australians off the top of my head who would be a better secretary-general and one of them is my Labrador so let's be blunt here, she has a lot more empathy than Kevin Rudd," Keneally said earlier this week.

The government is yet to decide if Rudd will be nominated but a decision is expected either this or next week.

Incumbent UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon will step down from the position on Dec. 31.