Press

Resumption of negotiations between Polisario Front-Morocco: Guterres underlines MINURSO’s key role

APS - 05 October 2018

NEY YORK- United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that the two sides to the conflict in Western Sahara, the Polisario Front and Morocco, accepted to participate in direct negotiations in Geneva, while underlining the key role of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) in reaching a lasting political solution by organizing a referendum on self-determination.

The two sides to the conflict, the Polisario Front and Morocco, accepted to participate in direct negotiations on 4-5 December in Geneva, said UN Chief in his preliminary reports on Western Sahara.

“MINURSO remains a key element of UN efforts to achieve a fair, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the conflict in Western Sahara, which guarantees the Sahrawi people’s self determination,” said Guterres in the recommendations of the preliminary report on Western Sahara.

While reaffirming MINURSO’s mandate, Guterres puts an end to the controversy created by Morocco which wants to reduce UN’s mission to the role of monitoring ceasefire.

Guterres underlined in the chapter of the report devoted to MINURSO’s activities that “the differing interpretations” of the mission mandate continue to represent a major challenge to its operations.

UN Secretary General asked the Security Council to extend by one year the mandate of MINURSO, pointing out its role in re-launching the political process in Western Sahara.

MINURO’s role was determining to allow my personal envoy, thanks to the intense efforts in the last six months, to make significant progress in reaching a political solution to the issue of Western Sahara, said Guterres.

Therefore, I ask the Council to extend by one year the mandate of MINURSO, until 31 October 2019, in order to grant my personal envoy the (necessary) space and time to create the conditions ensuring the progress of the political process, he wrote in his report.