Security Council extends UN mission in Western Sahara for another year
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council called on the parties to enter into “a more intensive and substantive phase of negotiations” to resolve their long-running dispute.
Morocco holds that its sovereignty over Western Sahara should be recognized, while the Frente Polisario's position is that the Territory's final status should be decided in a referendum that includes independence as an option.
In his recent report on the issue, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote that while he welcomed the commitment of the two parties – outlined in a communiqué issued after UN-led talks held in March – to continue their negotiations, so far there was no sign of any breakthrough in the dispute.
“Momentum can only be maintained by trying to find a way out of the current political impasse through realism and a spirit of compromise from both parties,” he stated, a view endorsed by the Council in the resolution adopted today.
UN-sponsored talks on the issue are facilitated by Peter van Walsum, the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General, and include representatives of neighbouring States, Algeria and Mauritania.
The Council called on the parties to continue with negotiations without preconditions and in good faith, “with a view to achieving a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution.”