4905th Meeting* (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS
WESTERN SAHARA UNTIL 30 APRIL MISSION
The Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 30 April.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1523 (2004), it requested that the Secretary-General provide a report on the situation before the end of that mandate.
The meeting began at and adjourned at
The full text of Council resolution 1523 (2004) reads, as follows:
“The Security Council
“Recalling all its previous resolutions on
Western Sahara, and reaffirming, in particular, resolution 1495 (2003) of 31 July 2003,
“1. Decides to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until
30 April 2004;
“2. Requests that the Secretary-General provide a report on the situation before the end of the present mandate;
“3. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”
When the Council met, it had before it the Secretary-General’s latest report on MINURSO (document S/2004/39), in which he says the Mission should be extended for another three months, through the end of April, to give Morocco more time to respond to a peace plan for the disputed area.
In the report, Mr. Annan says his Personal Envoy, James Baker, recommended the extension to allow him to consult more with
. "I concur with this view and hope that he will be receiving Morocco's final reply before the end of April 2004", Mr. Annan says. Rabat
The peace plan, submitted by Mr. Baker last year, calls for a referendum on the status of
Western Sahara. It was accepted by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro(POLISARIO Front), in July.
According to the report, the recent round of confidence-building measures -- telephone calls between
Western Saharaand refugee camps in neighbouring resumed earlier this month -- mean the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) thinks an exchange of family visits could begin next month. Algeria
That agency submitted a detailed plan in November on how the exchange of family visits between the refugee camps in Tindouf and
Western Saharacould work.
But Mr. Annan also warns that more relief aid is needed to ensure Western Saharan refugees do not succumb to acute and chronic malnutrition. "Without significant donor contributions, the Western Saharan refugee assistance programme may face a critical situation in the coming months", he says.
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* The 4904th Meeting was closed.