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Security Council extends UN's Western Sahara mission for two months

Security Council extends UN's Western Sahara mission for two months

UN Security Council in session
The Security Council today voted unanimously to extend for two months, until June 30, the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), which was set up in 1991 to allow the people of the Territory to choose between independence and integration into Morocco.

The Council also expressed hope that the parties, working under the auspices of the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, James Baker III, would "continue to try to resolve the multiple problems relating to the implementation of the Settlement Plan and to try to agree upon a mutually acceptable political solution to their dispute over Western Sahara."

According to the Secretary-General's latest report on the situation in the Territory, there has been no advancement in implementing the Settlement Plan. However, there has been some progress in determining whether Morocco, as the administrative power, "is prepared to offer or support some devolution of authority for all inhabitants and former inhabitants of the Territory that is genuine, substantial and in keeping with international norms."

In another action today, the Council approved a list of potential judges to serve on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on an ad litem basis, meaning that they will be appointed to specific trials when needed. The Council's list of 54 names was forwarded to the General Assembly, which will elect the new pool of 27 judges.