Fiji's ambassador to the United Nations, Peter Thomson, has been elected the president of the organisation's General Assembly.
Mr Thomson narrowly defeated the Cyrpriot ambassador, Andreas Mavroyiannis, by 94 votes to 90 in a contested election.
He will begin his one-year term in September, when Denmark's Mogens Lykketoft finishes his term.
The post is largely ceremonial, though it has a high profile and important procedural functions and Mr Thomson will oversee the process of searching for a new UN secretary-general.
The role is the focus of a corruption scandal in the United States, and Mr Thomson has pledged to keep pushing for transparency in the President's office.
Mr Thomson is the first assembly president from the Pacific.
"This is the first time in history that one of the Pacific SIDS (Small Island Developing States) countries has put up somebody who has succeeded to be elected as president of the General Assembly," he said.
"It is a great moment for the Pacific islands and I thank you all for your support. The Pacific SIDS, we bring a special perspective on climate change and on oceans issues and you can expect me to be vocal on those."