MINURSO must be given a mandate to monitor the human rights situation in Western Sahara ( Nordic United Nations Associations)

Oslo, 9 April 2016 (SPS) In joint Statement by the five Nordic United Nations Associations (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) has urged for an expansion of the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

In April, a renewal of the mandate is to be discussed in the United Nations Security Council.

MINURSO is the only current UN peacekeeping mission lacking a human rights mandate. In response to the dire human rights situation in Western Sahara, several initiatives have been brought forward urging such an expansion. To include human rights in the mandate of MINURSO would raise international awareness of possible human rights violations in Western Sahara and enable their prevention.

The five Nordic United Nations Associations therefore urge the Security Council to expand the mandate of MINURSO to include human rights. MINURSO peacekeepers must be granted unhindered access to carry out this mandate in the parts of Western Sahara controlled by Morocco and the Polisario as well as the refugee camps outside Tindouf, Algeria. (SPS)