President Hamid Karzai nominated the former Afghan finance minister Ashraf Ghani for the top UN job on Wednesday.
Ghani, currently the chancellor of Kabul University, was Afghanistan's finance minister from 2002-04.
Before that, Ghani worked for the World Bank in Asia, spending 10 years working in China, India, and Russia.
"The government of Afghanistan believes that Ashraf Ghani is uniquely equipped to lead the United Nations at (a) time when imagination and leadership are required in both security and development," the statement said.
"As someone who stands at the intersection of Islam and the West, he has the capacity to bring the world together at a time of growing religious and geopolitical tension," it added.
"The president requests members of the United Nations to support Dr. Ghani's nomination to become the next Secretary General," the statement said.
The term of current UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expires December 31. He has served two five-year terms but cannot serve again.
Annan was selected for a second term in 2001 - in part because Asia could not agree on a candidate - giving Africa an unprecedented 15 years at the helm of the world body.
But Asian and African nations have agreed that this year, it's Asia's turn, though US Ambassador John Bolton has said the job should go to the best-qualified candidate.