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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 .
July 10th, 1995
by Anne S. Walker
In this slight lull, while we await fresh news re the building and refurbishing of the Huairou site for the NGO Forum on Women, confirmation of accommodation requests in Beijing and Huairou, and the general situation regarding the scheduling and placement of 5000 activity requests (the NGO Forum logistics team returns from Beijing on Wednesday evening-July 12th), here are a few tidbits of other information you may find useful. (The Tribune #53, Special Issue #2 on Beijing, has much more information and is available now from IWTC. It is free to women in the Global South, and costs $3 for all others)
1. Draft Platform for Action: The latest version (May 24, 1995) is available on-line. Identification is as follows: A/CONF.177/L.1 24 May 1995. It was posted June 20. APC network members can find the documents in the following conferences: <un.wcw.doc.eng> in English, <un.wcw.doc.esp> in Spanish, and <un.wcw.doc.fra> in French. The Platform for Action and Beijing Declaration can be found at URL <gopher://gopher.undp.org:70/00/unconfs/women/off/platform>.
2. Conference of Commitments: The Fourth World Conference on Women (September 4-15, 1995) will bring together delegations from 184 Member States of the United Nations. From Australia has come an idea to make this conference one of commitments. The Conference of Commitments idea recognizes that different countries are at different stages in the process of reform. It proposes that governments, in consultation with women, identify key obstacles to the status of women in their countries and announce in Beijing specific strategies they will adopt to address them. At the final PrepCom (Commission on the Status of Women 39) held in New York in March/April 1995, the idea won the support of the majority of the delegations, and has now been included into the Draft Platform for Action.
3. A Call for Poems: The Minnesota Poetry Project invites all NGO Forum participants to send poems in English or in your own language expressing your opinions and thoughts about your life as a woman to: Minnesota Poetry Project/WILPF, 757 Raymond Avenue, Suite 204, St. Paul, MN 55114, USA. If you are on the Peace Train heading for Beijing, join the poetry workshop and write of your adventures while traveling for 22 days with women from 44 countries. In Beijing, write poems about your experiences while at the Forum and attend the Poetry Workshops. After Beijing, send poems reflecting on the outcomes and experiences. A book of poems will be published in 1996.
4. Peace Tent: A worldwide network of organizations is involved in planning the Peace Tent programme. They have proposed a RVision for the Peace TentS that includes: 1) It should be a secure and peaceful area; 2) Everyone who enters must respect one another, listen to and hear one another communicate through dialogue. A long list of topics to be discussed has been developed. Groups have been asked to comment on the list and on the RVisionS. Because tents provided by the organizers of the NGO Forum will be simple, open on the sides, unguarded and have only one electric cable for a microphone, an appeal has gone out for contributions towards a second cable for overhead projectors, films, slides, etc.
Contact: Peace Tent Coordinating Group, c/o WILPF, 1 rue de Varembe, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland. Tel: (41-22)733-61-75. Fax: (41-22)740-10-63. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Note: All letters/faxes/e-mail, etc. addressed to IWTC from people desperately wanting information regarding their registration and hotel accommodation confirmation letters,and/or the status of their activity requests, have been immediately faxed to the NGO Forum Office. Incidentally, we are advised that people will be receiving information regarding schedules and space for their activities very soon.