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UNSC Resolution 2703 Extends MINURSO Mandate, Furthering Morocco’s Autonomy Plan

Morocco applauded the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) adoption of Resolution 2703, sponsored by the US, to extend the mandate of MINURSO in the Sahara until October 31, 2024, which reflects “ongoing positive momentum,” Morocco’s Foreign Ministry stated in a news release issued on Monday.

With 13 members of the Security Council voting in favor and two abstaining (Russia and Mozambique), the United Nations Executive Board reiterated its support for Morocco’s autonomy plan, submitted in 2007, as a “serious and credible” resolution.

The Ministry acknowledged the growing international support of nearly a hundred countries for Morocco’s Autonomy Initiative, the opening of more than thirty Consulates General in Laâyoune and Dakhla, as well as the broad non-recognition of Algeria’s “puppet” the Polisario Front by more than 84% of UN member States.

The resolution has clarified the parties to the political process who the Ministry asserted should “accept their political, legal, and moral duty” to pursue a permanent settlement to the regional Sahara issue, including Algeria.

The new resolution defines “round table discussions” as the primary framework for the political process, the Ministry stated, in which Algeria, a directly involved stakeholder, should participate.

The new resolution calls out the Polisario for breaches of military agreements and limiting MINURSO’s freedom of movement. It also asks Algeria to allow the registration of Tindouf camp residents.

The Security Council established the MINURSO on April 29, 1991, as part of Resolution 690 in response to proposals accepted on August 30, 1988 by Morocco and the Polisario.