Antonio Guterres, the man formally nominated to be the next UN secretary general, says he plans to “serve the most vulnerable,” the BBC reports.
The former Portuguese prime minister said he felt both “gratitude and humility” by the appointment.
He said he would serve the “victims of conflicts, of terrorism, rights violations, poverty and injustices of this world”.
Mr Guterres was unanimously nominated by the UN Security Council on Thursday.
The UN General Assembly is expected to meet next week to approve his five-year appointment.
The 67-year-old, who led the UN refugee agency for 10 years, will take over from Ban Ki-moon early next year.
He paid tribute to Ban Ki-moon and called on UN members states to “strongly support him in his actions and his initiatives” in his final months in office.
“I have two words to describe what I’m feeling now – gratitude and humility,” Mr Guterres said in Lisbon.
“Humility [is what I feel] about the huge challenges ahead of us, the terrible complexity of the modern world. But it is also humility that is required to serve the most vulnerable, victims of conflicts, of terrorism, rights violations, poverty and injustices of this world”.