The United Nations Security Council has formally nominated Antonio Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister, as the next UN secretary-general.
With unanimous backing from the 15-member council on the October 6 nomination, Guterres still must be approved by the UN's 193-member General Assembly in a vote expected to take place next week.
But the 67-year-old Guterres is widely expected to be approved and begin a five-year term on January 1, 2017.
Guterres on October 6 vowed that he would "serve the most vulnerable" if he is appointed.
Guterres would replace the 72-year-old outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, who is stepping down at the end of 2016 after serving two terms.
Guterres was the prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002.
He served as UN high commissioner for refugees from 2005 to 2015.