Here below are some fundamental references to the treatment of the question of Western Sahara by the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council
1963 Western Sahara was integrated to the list of Non Self-Governing Territories (NSGT) by the Special Committee on decolonization (C24), the proposal was endorsed by the UN General Assembly (resolution 1956).
1966 Adoption of resolution 2229 by the UN General Assembly, which invited the Administering Power (Spain) to determine at the earliest possible date the procedures for the holding of a referendum with a view to enabling the indigenous population of the Territory to exercise freely its right to self-determination; Spain failed in its mandate as Administering Power and never organized the referendum.
6 Nov. 1975 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) released its Advisory opinion requested by the UN General Assembly on the legal status of Western Sahara: the Court asserted that the materials and information presented to it do not establish any tie of territorial sovereignty between the territory of Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco. Thus the Court has not found legal ties of such a nature as might affect the application of resolution 1514 (XV) in the decolonization of Western Sahara and, in particular, of the principle of self-determination through the free and genuine expression of the will of the peoples of the Territory.
Hassan II launched the military invasion of Western Sahara, followed by thousands of civilians (Green March).
Adoption of resolution 380 by the UN Security Council, which called upon Morocco immediately to withdrawn from the Territory of Western Sahara all the participants in the march.
NOTE: From then on, Western Sahara became (and still is today) the only NSGT which is under foreign illegal military occupation.
26 Febr. 1976 Spain informed the UN Secretary General that as of that date it had terminated its presence in Western Sahara and relinquished its responsibility over the Territory.
NOTE: From then on, Western Sahara became (and still is today) the only NSGT which has not an internationally recognised Administering Power: de jure, Spain should still be considered as the Administering Power, de facto, the UN has the primary responsibility over the Territory.
1979 Mauritania signed a peace agreement with the Polisario Front and withdrew from the Territory.
Adoption of resolution 34/37 by the UN General Assembly, which deeply deplored the aggravation of the situation resulting from the continued occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco and the extension of that occupation to the territory evacuated by Mauritania. The General Assembly also recognized the Polisario Front as the representative of the people of Western Sahara.
1980 Adoption of resolution 35/19 by the UN General Assembly, which declared that it was deeply concerned at the aggravation of the situation deriving from the continued occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco and reiterated the appeal to Morocco to terminate the occupation of Western Sahara.
1991 Following the acceptance in principle by the two parties to the conflict (the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front) of the Settlement Plan presented by the UN Secretary General and the President of the Organisation of African Unity, the UN Security Council decided to establish the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). The referendum should have been held within nine months after the establishment of MINURSO.
2002 In his Advisory opinion to the UN General Assembly, the Legal Adviser (Mr. H. Corell) reaffirmed the above mentioned ICJ’s conclusions of 1975 and stressed that the “Madrid Agreement” of November 1975 between Spain, Mauritania and Morocco did not transfer sovereignty over the Territory, nor did it confer upon any of the signatories the status of an Administering Power.
May 2003 The UN Secretary General presented to the UN Security Council a Peace Plan (Baker Plan), that the UN Security Council considered as an optimum political solution, which the Polisario Front officially accepted in a letter dated 6 July 2003. The Kingdom of Morocco, in a letter dated 9 April 2004, affirmed that it is out of the question for Morocco to engage in negotiations with anyone over its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
13 Nov. 2020 Following a military incursion in the buffer zone of Guerguerat by the Moroccan Army, the ceasefire in force since 1991 has been broken and the conflict has entered a new cycle.
By constantly reaffirming a position that is contrary to international law, the Kingdom of Morocco hinders the exercise of the Saharawi people’s inalienable right to self-determination.
Most recent UN Resolutions impacting Western Sahara:
10.12.2020 UNGA Res. 75/123 “Fourth Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism”
UNGA Res. 75/103 “Economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories”
UNGA Res. 75/104 “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations”
UNGA Res. 75/122 “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples”
UNGA Res. 75/106 “Question of Western Sahara”
16.12.2020 UNGA Res. 75/173 “Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination”
23.07.2019 ECOSOC Res. 2019/27 “Support to Non-Self-Governing Territories by the specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations”
30.10.2020 UNSC Res. 2548 on the extension of the MINURSO mandate adopted with 13 votes in favour and 2 abstentions (Russian Federation, South Africa)