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Western Sahara: extension of MINURSO mandate

Published Thursday April 25 2013

SC/10986

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) through 30 April 2014 by unanimously adopting resolution 2099 (2013) .

The Council called on the parties to the conflict to cooperate fully with the operations of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), including its free interaction with all interlocutors, and to take the necessary steps to ensure the security of, as well as unhindered movement and immediate access for, United Nations personnel in carrying out the mandate.

Today’s resolution came following the Secretary-General’s 8 April report (document S/2013/220 ) in which he recommended the extension because the Mission remained relevant as a guarantor for the stability of the ceasefire and as a visible commitment of the international community to achieve a resolution of the conflict.

In addition to its standard peacekeeping functions, the Mission was responsible for reporting on political and security conditions affecting the negotiating process led by the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Christopher Ross.  “The reporting function of MINURSO, although still limited, is indispensable, including for my Personal Envoy,” the Secretary-General says in his report.

By the resolution, the Council called on the parties to fully adhere to military agreements reached with MINURSO with regard to the ceasefire.  Welcoming the parties’ commitment to continue preparations for a fifth round of negotiations, the Council called on them to continue to show political will and work in an “atmosphere propitious for dialogue”, so that a more intensive and substantive phase of negotiations could be reached.  It also reaffirmed its strong support for the Secretary-General’s commitment — and that of his Personal Envoy – towards a solution to the question of Western Sahara, calling for renewed meetings and strengthened contacts.

In its preambular text, the Council reaffirmed its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that would provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, recognizing that such a solution would contribute to the stability and security in the Sahel region.

It also encouraged the parties to continue to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in Western Sahara and the Tindouf refugee camps, welcoming in that regard Morocco’s ongoing interaction with Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, including those planned for 2013.

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