The U.N. Security Council has approved a resolution to establish a political mission to monitor and verify a future cease-fire in Colombia that would end Latin America's longest-running guerrilla conflict.

The resolution welcomes the progress in negotiations between Colombia's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and notes their joint request last week for a U.N. monitoring mission.

The request sent a strong signal that a March deadline to wrap up peace talks could be within reach.

The resolution establishes a political mission for 12 months, and the council can consider an extension if asked by the two parties.

Decades of fighting between guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries and the armed forces has left more than 220,000 dead, some 40,000 disappeared and over 5 million driven from their homes.