30 April 1999


Press Release
SC/6668



SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS WESTERN SAHARA MISSION UNTIL 14 MAY; RESOLUTION 1235 (1999) ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY

19990430
The Security Council this afternoon decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for two weeks, until 14 May.

It took that decision as it unanimously adopted resolution 1235 (1999). By the terms of that text, the Council decided to remain seized of the matter, and it requested the Secretary-General to keep the Council informed of all significant developments in the implementation of the Settlement Plan and the agreements reached with the parties, and, as appropriate, on the continuing viability of MINURSO's mandate.

The MINURSO became operational in 1991, following Security Council approval of a Western Sahara Settlement Plan, which provided for the holding of a referendum in which the people of the Territory would choose between independence and integration with Morocco. The referendum was originally scheduled for 1992, but because of divergent views on parts of the Plan, particularly regarding the criteria for eligibility to vote, it has not been held. Since then, the negotiating process has continued, although at times it has been brought to a complete standstill by irreconcilable differences between the two sides.

The process gained new momentum in 1997, when the parties reached agreements through direct talks arranged by the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, James A. Baker III of the United States. The MINURSO was then directed to proceed with implementation of the Settlement Plan, beginning with completion of the identification process. The Mission's mandate has been extended throughout the period.

In other matters this morning, the President of the Council, Alain Dejammet (France), stated that members of the Council had agreed to defer, for a few days, the meetings concerning the applications for membership submitted by the Republic of Kiribati and the Republic of Nauru.

The meeting, which was called to order at 12:19 p.m., was adjourned at 12:23 p.m.


Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6668 3994th Meeting (PM) 30 April 1999

Resolution

The full text of resolution 1235 (1999), which was submitted by France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States, reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling all its previous resolutions on the question of the Western Sahara,

"Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General of 27 April 1999 (S/1999/483) and the observations and recommendations contained therein,

"1. Decides to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 14 May 1999;

"2. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council informed of all significant developments in the implementation of the Settlement Plan and the agreements reached with the parties, and, as appropriate, on the continuing viability of the mandate of MINURSO;

"3. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

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