Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak has become an official candidate for the post of U.N. secretary-general to replace Ban Ki-moon.

Prime Minister Robert Fico announced the candidacy after it was unanimously approved by his coalition government Wednesday. Fico says he immediately informed the U.N. about the move, adding "we offer a candidate of extraordinary quality."

The 53-year-old Lajcak is a career diplomat who previously served as the EU envoy for the Balkans and Russia. He was Slovakia's foreign minister in 2009-10 and again since 2012. The post of U.N. chief has never been held by someone from Eastern Europe but Fico said Lajcak's chances are "real."

Lajcak will have a public hearing in New York on June 7.