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Faxnet #15: UN USG GOES TO CHINA FOR LAST MINUTE NEGOTIATIONS OVER SITE

International Women's Tribune Centre

On Sunday, June 4, 1995, Mr. Ismat Kittani, Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser to the Secretary General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali, is traveling to Beijing to attempt last minute negotiations with the Chinese authorities to move the NGO Forum on Women from Huairou Tourist Scenic Area to a more appropriate site in Beijing city. During the two months since news was received of the site change for the NGO Forum on Women, - due to Rstructural problemsS at the Workers Gymnasium in Beijing -, thousands of women and supporters worldwide have flooded the offices of the Secretary General and the China Organizing Committee (COC) with letters of protest.

The overwhelming response from women worldwide has clearly shown the seriousness with which women have planned for the Beijing meetings. Mr Kittani, in looking for a win-win situation for NGOs, China and the UN, will bring the following issues to Beijing:

1. The need for accessibility to the World Conference so that NGOs, particularly those without accreditation, can take part in the dialogue and negotiation process that occurs between delegates and their NGO constituencies, a process especially significant if the follow-up and implementation activities are to be successful.

2. The adequacy of the facilities in view of the substantive, far-reaching and important activities and events NGOs have been planning for years.

3. The adequacy of the housing and transport arrangements, as no one wants to spend long hours traveling from their hotels to the Forum site, or from the Forum site to the World Conference

4. The adequacy of the communications structure, facilities and access not only for the worldUs press, but also for womenUs media networks, radio and TV programmes and all participants.

This week, the NGO Forum Office has mailed out confirmation notices to about 35,000 registrants. Acknowledgement postcards have been mailed to about 5,000 NGOs who have requested time and space for activities. Planning for the Forum is proceeding on the basis that the above requirements will be met so that women worldwide can meet to network, consolidate gains and plan our agenda for the 21st Century.

Wherever the final site is located, women have put the world on notice. ItUs possible to see the Forum as a part of a larger process well underway that is working towards women taking their rightful place as decision-makers and planners for the future. As part of this process, women have greatly influenced the development of regional plans of action that speak more clearly to our issues and concerns than the troubled Platform for Action. It is likely that implementation of these regional plans will be a focus of activities after Beijing.

We expect the United Nations to take the concerns of women seriously in its negotiations with China. Please continue to raise your concerns with your government until the successful resolution of this issue.

STOP PRESS! The COC has informed the NGO Forum Office that only 5,000 people have applied for hotel beds! Please ensure that you have applied for your hotel NO LATER THAN JUNE 23, 1995. Apply to: China Organizing Committee, No. 15 Jianguomen Street, Beijing 100730, P. R. China. Fax: (86-1) 522-5329 You will need the COC hotel confirmation letter along with your registration confirmation letter to apply for a visa.


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