UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced that U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky will be replaced by Stephane Dujarric, a former spokesman under Ban's predecessor, Kofi Annan.

Ban told reporters Wednesday that Nesirky, who is British, asked for a change after more than four years as spokesmen and will leave March 7 for a new assignment at the U.N. office in Vienna.

He said Dujarric, a Frenchman who heads the U.N. Department of Public Information's news and media division, will take over March 10.

Ban called Nesirky "a model spokesperson of the United Nations — accessible, authoritative, cool under pressure, fast on his feet and quick with a joke."

The secretary-general also announced the appointment of Farhan Haq, who has been acting deputy to Nesirky, as deputy spokesman.