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Personal Envoy Western Sahara

Established: March 1997
Refugees walk near the Awsard Refugee Camp.
Refugees walk near the Awsard Refugee Camp. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The United Nations has long been engaged in the search for a peaceful solution to the conflict over Western Sahara. On 6 October 2021, the Secretary-General appointed Staffan de Mistura as his Personal Envoy for Western Sahara to provide good offices on behalf of the Secretary‑General.


In October 2023, in its resolution 2703, the United Nations Security Council expressed its full support for Staffan de Mistura, the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara and his efforts to advance the political process, called upon the parties to resume negotiations without preconditions and in good faith, and reaffirmed its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, based on compromise, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations.


The Council further called upon Morocco, the Frente POLISARIO, Algeria and Mauritania to cooperate more fully with each other, including through building additional trust, and with the United Nations.


Amid continued diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict, a UN peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), has remained on the ground monitoring the situation and providing a stabilizing presence. MINURSO was deployed in 1991 to oversee a cease-fire and a UN settlement plan; however, disagreements between the two parties prevented the holding of the anticipated referendum on the territory’s future. For more information on MINURSO see: https://minurso.unmissions.org



Personal Envoy: Staffan de Mistura


International staff: 2

Total: 2