Former New Zealand Prime Minister and senior United Nations official Helen Clark has announced she is running for the top position at the U.N. with the backing of the New Zealand government.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday said the government had formally nominated Clark to become the next Secretary-General and was planning to spend several hundred thousand dollars backing her campaign. Clark is the eighth candidate in the race to succeed Ban Ki-moon, whose second term expires at the end of 2016.

Clark served as New Zealand's prime minister for nine years until 2008. She has headed the U.N. Development Program for the past seven years.

In a statement, Clark says she's committed to the ideals of the U.N. Charter and has supported them throughout her life.