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International Women's Tribune Centre, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, Tel: (1-212) 687-8633. Fax: (1-212) 661-2704 .

e-mail: iwtc@igc.apc.org


July 28th, 1995

by Anne S. Walker


We deeply apologize for accidentally not listing 3 donors to Global Faxnet (and Global Net) in Faxnet 26. They are Mama Cash (Netherlands), Amnesty International (UK) and a personal donation from a staff member of The Global Fund. These 3 were the first ones to support the effort, and in fact made it possible for us to continue Global Faxnet in its early days. Sincere thanks to these three special donors.

Reports and Rumours Fly Following Press Conference in Beijing

1. At a recent press conference in Beijing, a Mr Wan Siquan (or Xihuan), a member of the China Organizing Committee (COC) reported that only 15,000 participants will be able to enter the NGO Forum on Women site in Huairou because of lack of space. As reported by various news agencies, he then added that all of the women who could not enter the site would be offered tourist trips instead...

IWTC visited the NGO Forum Office here in New York yesterday, July 28, and was given the following information:

2. The NGO Forum Executive Director wants it to be known that there will certainly be enough space on the Forum site for all registered NGOs. When asked why a member of the COC would give such a misleading comment regarding site access for NGOs, she thought it was probably a badly construed attempt by the Chinese officials to show hospitality to the visitors expected, emphasizing that there were many things they could do in China besides attend workshops, plenaries and panels.

3. The majority of NGO Forum on Women participants will probably be involved in other Forum activities that will be taking place at the same time as the Forum plenaries, workshops and panels. These other activities include (this is by no means a complete listing) a) The Marketplace (which will hopefully include a Women Ink. WomenUs Bookstore); b) Cultural events, including dance performances, singing groups, performance art etc. at the Middle School Sports Ground stage, at the Cultural Palace and at various other locations throughout the Forum site; c) informal small meetings at the Sports Ground, where there will be 1,000 parasols complete with chairs and tables; d) special on-going programmes including the Once and Future Pavilion (women, science and technology), the Human Rights Education programme, the Environmental Web, the Peace Tent not to mention the other thematic tents, and the regional and diversity tents. Add to this the activities taking place at the Exhibition Hall (2 floors of exhibits, crafts, etc.), the 7,000 or so accredited NGOs daily who will be at the Beijing Recreation Centre and/or attending meetings in the Beijing International Convention Centre where the World Conference on Women is to be held, and all those who will be in the various restaurants, cafeterias and eating places around the site.

4. To summarize, the figure of 15,000 given by Mr. Wan Sihuan refers to the actual number of seats available at any given time for plenaries, workshops and panels. Multiply this figure by the four time slots each day and that adds up to 60,000 seats for plenaries, panels and workshops each day. The ratio of 15,000 seats to 35,000 expected participants at the NGO Forum on Women is in fact a better ratio than at previous forums. For instance, at the NGO Forum for the World Summit on Social Development, the ratio was 6,000 seats for 18,000 participants, and there were always seats to spare (unquote).

5. Global Faxnet commentary! There is no doubt that not having a plenary hall larger than one that will seat 3,000 (with another 3,000 watching closed-circuit TV on another floor) is a tremendous loss for NGOs in Huairou. The originally planned site had a covered gymnasium with a capacity of 13,000 and an open stadium with a capacity of 80,000. We lost those venues when the NGO Forum on Women was moved to Huairou. But that is old news now and we need to press on as best we can with what we have.

6. Vaccinations for China: IWTC has received the following information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA and Kaiser Travel Health Services.

a) You should have up to date: Measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and polio. b) It is recommended that you have shots for: i) Hepatitis A (gamma globulin not necessary if you can get this); ii) Typhoid. You may also want to consider: iii) Malaria prophylactic (fansidar) and iv) yellow fever vaccine.

Take mosquito netting and repellent no matter where you are going! To contact CDC in the USA for any updates on this information, call: (404) 332-4555.