Security Council Extends Western Sahara Mission until 30 April 2014, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2099 (2013)
6951st Meeting (AM)
Security Council Extends Western Sahara Mission until 30 April 2014,
Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2099 (2013)
Welcoming the commitment of the parties to continue the process of negotiation through United Nations sponsored talks to find a political solution to the long-standing dispute in Western Sahara, the Security Council today extended through 30 April 2014 the mandate of the United Nations Mission there.
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.
The meeting began at 10:11 a.m. and adjourned at 10:13 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2099 (2013) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling and reaffirming all its previous resolutions on Western Sahara,
“Reaffirming its strong support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to implement resolutions 1754 (2007), 1783 (2007), 1813 (2008), 1871 (2009), 1920 (2010), 1979 (2011), and 2044 (2012),
“Reaffirming its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect,
“Reiterating its call upon the parties and the neighbouring States to cooperate more fully with the United Nations and with each other and to strengthen their involvement to end the current impasse and to achieve progress towards a political solution,
“Recognizing that achieving a political solution to this long-standing dispute and enhanced cooperation between the Member States of the Maghreb Arab Union would contribute to stability and security in the Sahel region,
“Welcoming the efforts of the Secretary-General to keep all peacekeeping operations, including the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), under close review and reiterating the need for the Council to pursue a rigorous, strategic approach to peacekeeping deployments, and effective management of resources,
“Expressing concern about the violations of existing agreements, and calling on the parties to respect their relevant obligations,
“Taking note of the Moroccan proposal presented on 11 April 2007 to the Secretary-General and welcoming serious and credible Moroccan efforts to move the process forward towards resolution; also taking note of the Polisario Front proposal presented 10 April 2007 to the Secretary-General,
“Encouraging in this context, the parties to demonstrate further political will towards a solution including by expanding upon their discussion of each other’s proposals,
“Taking note of the four rounds of negotiations held under the auspices of the Secretary-General and welcoming the commitment of the parties to continue the negotiations process,
“Encouraging the parties to continue cooperating with the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in implementing the January 2012 updated Plan of Action on Confidence-Building Measures,
“Stressing the importance of improving the human rights situation in Western Sahara and the Tindouf camps, and encouraging the parties to work with the international community to develop and implement independent and credible measures to ensure full respect for human rights, bearing in mind their relevant obligations under international law,
“Encouraging the parties to continue in their respective efforts to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in Western Sahara and the Tindouf refugee camps,
“Recognizing and welcoming, in this regard, the steps taken by Morocco to strengthen the National Council on Human Rights Commissions operating in Dakhla and Laayoune, and Morocco’s ongoing interaction with Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council, including those planned for 2013,
“Also welcoming the implementation of the enhanced refugee protection programme developed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in coordination with the Polisario Front, which includes refugee and human rights training and awareness initiatives,
“Reiterating its request for consideration of a refugee registration in the Tindouf refugee camps and encouraging efforts in this regard,
“Welcoming the commitment of the parties to continue the process of negotiations through the United Nations-sponsored talks,
“Recognizing that the consolidation of the status quo is not acceptable, and noting further that progress in the negotiations is essential in order to improve the quality of life of the people of Western Sahara in all its aspects,
“Affirming support for the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Ambassador Christopher Ross, and his work in facilitating negotiations between the parties, and welcoming to that effect his recent initiatives and ongoing consultations with the parties and neighbouring states,
“Affirming support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara and Head of MINURSO, Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber,
“Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 8 April 2013 (S/2013/220),
“1. Decides to extend the mandate of MINURSO until 30 April 2014;
“2. Reaffirms the need for full respect of the military agreements reached with MINURSO with regard to the ceasefire and calls on the parties to adhere fully to those agreements;
“3. Calls upon all parties to cooperate fully with the operations of 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 the United Nations and associated personnel in carrying out their mandate, in conformity with existing agreements;
“4. Welcomes the parties’ commitment to continue the process of preparation for a fifth round of negotiations, and recalls its endorsement of the recommendation in the report of 14 April 2008 (S/2008/251) that realism and a spirit of compromise by the parties are essential to achieve progress in negotiations;
“5. Calls upon the parties to continue to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue in order to enter into a more intensive and substantive phase of negotiations, thus ensuring implementation of resolutions 1754 (2007), 1783 (2007), 1813 (2008), 1871 (2009), 1920 (2010), 1979 (2011), and 2044 (2012), and the success of negotiations;
“6. Affirms its strong support for the commitment of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy towards a solution to the question of Western Sahara in this context and calls for renewed meetings and strengthening of contacts;
“7. Calls upon the parties to continue negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith, taking into account the efforts made since 2006 and subsequent developments, with a view to achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect;
“8. Invites Member States to lend appropriate assistance to these talks;
“9. Requests the Secretary-General to brief the Security Council on a regular basis, and at least twice a year, on the status and progress of these negotiations under his auspices, on the implementation of this resolution, challenges to MINURSO’s operations and steps taken to address them, and expresses its intention to meet to receive and discuss his briefings and in this regard, further requests the Secretary-General to provide a report on the situation in Western Sahara well before the end of the mandate period;
“10. Welcomes the commitment of the parties and the neighbouring States to hold periodic meetings with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to review and, where possible, expand confidence-building measures, and in this regard, supports the Secretary-General’s request for additional six United Nations police officers to implement the expanded family visit programme;
“11. Urges Member States to provide voluntary contributions to fund confidence-building measures that allow for visits between separated family members, as well as for other confidence-building measures agreed upon between parties;
“12. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take the necessary measures to ensure full compliance in MINURSO with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take appropriate preventive action, including predeployment awareness training, and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;
“13. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”
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