For more information on other Non-Self-Governing Territories, you may select from the drop-down list below:

Western Sahara


Basic Facts

  • Population*: 612,000
  • Land area*: 266,000km²

Listing as a Non-Self-Governing Territory

Western Sahara has been on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories since 1963 following the transmission of information on Spanish Sahara by Spain under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations.

Administering Power**

United Nations-related action

The General Assembly adopts on an annual basis a resolution on Western Sahara. Please visit the Documents page for past General Assembly resolutions on Western Sahara from 2008.

United Nations Secretariat annual working papers on Western Sahara issued since 2008 are also available on the Documents page.


United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)


* Data is from UNdata, a database by the United Nations Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations.

** On 26 February 1976, the Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations informed the Secretary-General that “the Spanish Government, as of today, definitely terminates its presence in the Territory of the Sahara and deems it necessary to place the following on record: … (a) Spain considers itself henceforth exempt from any responsibility of an international nature in connection with the administration of the said Territory, in view of the cessation of its participation in the temporary administration established for the Territory …” (A/31/56-S/11997).


(Last updated: 10 May 2022)