SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF WESTERN SAHARA MISSION UNTIL 20 APRIL 1998 TO ENABLE IT TO RESUME IDENTIFICATION PROCESS

20 October 1997
SC/6431

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF WESTERN SAHARA MISSION UNTIL 20 APRIL 1998 TO ENABLE IT TO RESUME IDENTIFICATION PROCESS

20 October 1997

Press ReleaseSC/6431

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF WESTERN SAHARA MISSION UNTIL 20 APRIL 1998 TO ENABLE IT TO RESUME IDENTIFICATION PROCESS

19971020 Resolution 1133 (1997), Adopted Unanimously, Requests Secretary-General To Complete Process by 31 May 1998

The Security Council this morning decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 20 April 1998, so that the Mission might resume the process of identifying prospective voters, and increase its size in accordance with the recommendations of the Secretary-General.

The Council took that action through its unanimous adoption of resolution 1133 (1997), by which it also requested the Secretary-General to begin the identification of voters eligible to participate in the referendum for self-determination, with the aim of finishing the process by 31 May 1998.

The Council also requested the Secretary-General to submit, no later than 15 November, a comprehensive report, including a detailed plan, a timetable and financial implications, for holding the referendum.

Further, the Council requested the Secretary-General to report every 60 days on the progress of the implementation of the settlement plan and the agreements reached between the parties, and to keep the Council regularly informed of all significant developments in the interim.

Following the adoption of the resolution, the President of the Council, Juan Somavia (Chile), said the Council requested the Secretary-General to name a special representative as soon as possible and called on all parties to cooperate with the special representative throughout the implementation of the settlement plan.

The Secretary-General has recommended that the MINURSO identification operation be expanded to include up to nine centres and that Mission personnel be increased by 298 civilian personnel, including 72 identification staff and 81 civilian police.

The settlement plan, proposed by the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1988, provides for a transitional period during

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which the special representative of the Secretary-General, assisted by MINURSO, would have responsibility over all matters relating to the referendum, including identifying and registering qualified voters.

The meeting which was called to order at 11:51 a.m., was adjourned at 11:54 a.m.

Resolution Adopted

The resolution adopted by the Council reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling all its previous resolutions on the question of Western Sahara, and in particular its resolution 1131 (1997) of 29 September 1997,

"Reaffirming its welcome for the report of the Secretary-General of 25 September 1997 (S/1997/742 and Add.1) and the agreements for the implementation of the Settlement Plan reached between the parties recorded in that report,

"Reaffirming also its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just and lasting solution to the question of Western Sahara,

"Reiterating its commitment to the holding without further delay of a free, fair and impartial referendum for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in accordance with the Settlement Plan, which has been accepted by the two parties,

"Reiterating also its satisfaction at the extent to which the parties cooperated with the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General,

"1. Calls upon the parties to continue their constructive cooperation with the United Nations by fully implementing the Settlement Plan and the agreements which they have reached for its implementation;

"2. Decides to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 20 April 1998, in order that MINURSO may proceed with its identification tasks, and to increase its size in accordance with the recommendation of the Secretary-General (S/1997/742 and Add.1) contained in his report;

"3. Requests the Secretary-General to begin the identification of eligible voters in accordance with the Settlement Plan and the agreements reached between the parties with the aim of finishing the process by 31 May 1998;

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"4. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Council, no later than 15 November 1997, a comprehensive report, including a detailed plan, a timetable and financial implications, for the holding of the referendum for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in accordance with the Settlement Plan and the agreements reached between the parties for its implementation,

"5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every 60 days from the date of extension of the mandate of MINURSO on the progress of the implementation of the Settlement Plan and the agreements reached between the parties, and to keep the Council regularly informed of all significant developments in the interim period;

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

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For information media. Not an official record.