South Korea's foreign minister, the clear favourite to become the next UN Secretary-General, vowed on Tuesday to pursue crucial reforms of the world body if elected, and seek a peaceful resolution to North Korea's nuclear standoff.
Ban Ki-moon, 62, cemented his position to succeed Kofi Annan after an informal poll on Monday by the 15 UN Security Council members showed 14, including the five veto-wielding members, voted in favour of Ban.
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun on Tuesday congratulated Ban "for the good results," Roh's office said.
In Seoul, Ban said that if elected he would push for reform of the United Nations, which has been criticised for its ineffectiveness in dealing with global issues.
"There have been many changes around the world during the past 60 years ... Various threats that we have not experienced in the past," Ban said.
"So it is true that there have been doubts and criticism over whether the UN has responded appropriately and effectively."
"The UN has a great task to exercise a more positive, efficient and effective leadership to manage well the challenges and tasks of the 21st century through reform," he said.
"If I become the secretary-general, I will exert greatest efforts for this through close cooperation with the UN member countries."
He also pledged to help resolve the international standoff over North Korea's nuclear programme, saying he would use his expertise in dealing with the communist nation "to give a boost to issues concerning peace and security of the Korean Peninsula.