Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has announced she'll step down from her United Nations role.
Ms Clark's second term as head of the organisation's Development Programme (UNDP) comes to an end on April 19 this year.
The news was leaked early from an email sent to Ms Clark's staff, which said she had told UN Secretary-General António Guterres she intended to leave at the end of her term.
Ms Clark confirmed the news on Twitter on Thursday, saying it had been an "honour and a privilege" to serve as UNDP administrator for the past eight years.
A race will now be on to replace her and Ms Clark says she'll help in the transition of the new leader.
"I have full confidence in our Associate Administrator, Tege Gettu, to act as Administrator if there is a gap between my departure and the arrival of the next Administrator," the email reads.
Former British foreign secretary David Milliband, who now heads the International Rescue Committee, has been tipped as a possible successor as well as French ecology minister Segolene Royal.
The role made Ms Clark one of the most powerful people at the United Nations and the first woman to lead the global development network.
Last year, she ran unsuccessfully for the UN Secretary-General role to take over from Ban Ki-Moon.
Labour leader Andrew Little thanked Ms Clark for her work, saying she'd "done New Zealand - and Labour - proud".
Helen Clark's email to UNDP staff:
I am writing to advise all staff that I have informed the Secretary General that I am preparing to leave my position as Administrator at the end of my second term on 19 April.
This will allow the Secretary General to appoint a new Administrator as soon as possible. I stand ready to support the transition to the new leader of the organisation. I have full confidence in our Associate Administrator, Tege Gettu, to act as Administrator if there is a gap between my departure and the arrival of the next Administrator.
This is not my final message to staff - there is much to be done between now and 19 April. There is, for example, a timetable for tabling the draft of the next Strategic Plan to enable it to be discussed at the Executive Board’s Annual Meeting on 31 May. It is my desire to see all aspects of the organization in a strong and sustainable state when the next Administrator assumes office.
These are times of change across the UN system. There are post-QCPR reviews being commissioned which may impact on UNDP. While these processes are unfolding, I urge you all to continue to deliver to the high standards for which UNDP is known. Making progress on the SDGs and on supporting national development achievements must continue unabated.
It has been a privilege and an honour for me to lead UNDP for eight years. Our staff are our greatest strength, and I will miss you all. I will offer my thanks and gratitude more fully nearer to my departure.
With kind regards,