- The Foreign Ministers of member states of the League of Arab States held their
traditional annual meeting in New York at United Nations headquarters on 30 September
1996. The Ministers focused their attention on recent developments in Jerusalem and the
serious dangers the Middle East peace process is facing. The Ministers discussed the
adoption of Security Council resolution 1073 (1996) and then the planned Washington
Summit. The meeting established a follow-up committee, composed of Algeria, Egypt,
Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, a representative from the Gulf States, and the
Secretary-General of the League. A committee was also established to follow up the issue
of electing Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali for a second term as Secretary-General of the United
- The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) celebrated its 35th anniversary in a
commemorative meeting, which took place at United Nations headquarters on 24 September
1996. The meeting was chaired by President Ernesto Samper of Colombia, in his capacity as
the Chairman of the Movement, with the presence of many other Ministers of member states.
The meeting adopted a declaration, which, among other things, reaffirmed "the right
of self-determination of all peoples, taking into account the particular situation of
peoples under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation." The
next day the Ministerial Meeting of NAM was held and adopted a comprehensive communique.
- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
(UNRWA) moved its headquarters to Gaza City. The new headquarters was recently inaugurated
by President Yasser Arafat and Mr. Peter Hansen, the new Commissioner-General of UNRWA.
Before the inauguration, UNRWA signed a headquarters agreement with the Palestinian
Authority. UNRWA will continue to maintain some departments in Amman, Jordan, where
meetings of the Advisory Committee will take place, and will maintain all of its field
offices, including the Jerusalem field office.
- The Twentieth Congress of Socialist International affirmed the right of the Palestinian
people to self-determination and statehood. The Congress also admitted Fatah, the
main Palestinian political group, as an observer member of the movement. The meeting was
held at United Nations headquarters in New York from 9-11 September 1996 and was attended
by many world leaders.
- The Foreign Ministers of the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference
(OIC) held their annual coordination meeting on 2 October 1996 in New York. They adopted a
special declaration on Al-Aqsa Mosque calling for immediate action by the international
community to prevent any recurrence of the Israeli actions and to protect the Islamic holy
places in Jerusalem. They also endorsed a special communique on Jerusalem, issued by the
Committee on Palestine.