New Head of MINURSO holds first briefing in October

New York (United Nations), 2 October 2021 (SPS) –The new Special Representative for Western Sahara and head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), Alexander Ivanko of Russia, will hold this month his first briefing on the future of the UN mission whose mandate expires on 31 October.

According to Kenyan Foreign Minister Raychelle Omamo, whose country holds the presidency of the Security Council for the month of October, "discussions on the future of MINURSO will be on the agenda of the Security Council this month".

The Security Council members are expected to be briefed during consultations on MINURSO, probably by Alexander Ivanko, who are also expected to vote on a draft resolution to renew MINURSO's mandate, the Council's website said.

The UN Secretary General's report on the situation regarding Western Sahara is expected to be released before this briefing. A meeting of the troop-contributing countries with the members of the Council is also planned before the renewal of MINURSO's mandate, which expires on 31 October, the same source said.

On 24 August, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres informed the members of the Security Council of the appointment of the Russian Alexande Ivanko, who had been Chief of Staff of MINURSO since 2009. He succeeds Colin Stewart, who completed his mission on 26 August.

As for the post of Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, it is expected that the UN will validate the nomination of the Italian-Swedish diplomat and former special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.