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Please note: This information was typed by International Women's Tribune Centre and is exact duplicate of the information packet produced by the NGO Forum on Women office. If you have any questions about the information provided, please contact them at telephone 212-922-9267 or email: ngoforum95@igc.apc.org or fax 212-922-9269. The information packet is to be provided to all registered participants.


NGO Forum on Women Beijing '95 INFORMATION PACKET

Welcome to the NGO Forum on Women '95. This information packet contains administrative arrangements for the Forum and other important information you will need before and after you arrive in China. It also includes a New Hotel Reservation Form, which all Forum participants must complete and return by July 5, 1995. You will receive the Program Book containing the Schedule of Activities and Events when you get your Forum Identification Pass in Beijing. Please read this packet carefully and keep it with you for quick reference.

THE SITE

The NGO Forum on Women '95 site has been moved to Huairou, a county in Beijing, which is located in a scenic area near one of the Great Wall tourist areas. The site is a 42-hectare contiguous area in the Longshan district. It is 32 kilometers from the Capital Airport and 53 kilometers from the Beijing International Convention Center, site of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women.

VISAS

The NGO Forum on Women Office has sent you two originals of the Registration Confirmation Letter signed by the Forum Convenor. You will also be sent a Hotel Confirmation Letter from the China Organizing Committee (COC) once they receive your completed New Hotel Reservation Form.

To apply for a visa, you must present to your local Chinese Embassy or Consulate both an original Registration Confirmation Letter sent by the NGO Forum on Women Office and the original Hotel Confirmation Letter issued by the COC. You will also need two visa-size photographs to complete a visa application form.

Participants who live in countries without diplomatic relations with China may go to a Chinese Embassy or Consulate in neighboring countries to apply for a visa. They must also present the two confirmation letters mentioned above.

Participants who are not staying at hotels should contact the COC for instructions on how to obtain a visa.

HEALTH

You will be asked to fill out a health declaration form when you enter China.

Please consult your doctor for the appropriate vaccinations that you may need.

DISCOUNT AIRLINE FLIGHTS

Registered participants of the NGO Forum on Women '95 will receive a 50 percent discount off announced ticket prices if they fly with any of the Chinese international airlines (Air China, China Southern Airline, Shanghai Airline, Eastern Airline, etc.) except for those lines from/to Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong, which are considered high-demand routes.

However, Forum participants will receive a 20 percent discount on flights on any of the Chinese international airlines from/to Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

In order to get these discounts, you must present a copy of the Registration Confirmation Letter signed by the Forum Convenor and a copy of the Hotel Confirmation Letter issued by the COC. These rates are valid for one round-trip ticket only. You must book your ticket at least 45 days before your intended departure.

CUSTOMS

To show its support for the UN Fourth World Conference on Women and the NGO Forum on Women, the Chinese Customs Office will adopt all measures to simplify its procedures for the convenience of the participants when they enter and depart from China. There will be a reception center at the customs area at your point of entry to issue certificates of insurance and identification for equipment brought by Forum participants for non-professional use and to assist them in handling customs procedures.

Equipment for Personal Use

Equipment brought for personal use by Forum participants, such as cameras, portable recorders, video cameras, and laptops, are temporarily exempt from customs duties. You are permitted to bring in only one piece of each. All materials you bring into China must be with you when you leave. Certificates of insurance and identification will be issued at the airport.

Equipment for Professional Use

Equipment brought in for professional use of Forum participants and members of the media must be accompanied by a certificate of insurance and identification issued by the COC prior to their arrival in China. Please read these instructions carefully for your specific requirements.

For Forum Participants

Equipment brought in for professional use by Forum participants, such as computers, printers, fax machines, video cameras, and tape recorders while at the Forum are temporarily exempt from duties. They are required to have a certificate of insurance and identification issued by the COC prior to their arrival in China.

For Information Media and Journalists

Professional equipment and materials brought in by information media and journalists are temporarily exempt from duties. They are required to have a certificate of insurance and identification issued by the COC prior to their arrival in China. If you are a member of the media and wish to bring professional equipment, you must contact the Publicity and Mobilization Committee of the COC.

Products for Display in Booths, Exhibit Spaces & Marketplace Forum participants are allowed to bring a reasonable quantity of printed, video, and audio materials and other products produced by their NGO for display or distribution at the Forum (to be brought in as accompanied luggage). Printed materials include handouts, brochures, and other informational material on your organization for distribution at the Forum.

If you are displaying or distributing your organization's materials or products in a booth, an exhibit space, or the marketplace, you may bring a reasonable quantity of those materials or products as accompanied luggage.

If you are interested in selling large numbers of books in the Forum and/or are interested in opening a bookstore at the Forum, you will need permission from the Forum Office before shipping them to China. Please write a letter to the Forum Office to obtain permission.

Chinese customs will deny entry of materials (in any form) they deem anti-China, proselytizing for any religion, or obscene. You may not bring fruits or vegetables.

Booths and exhibit space are available for rent. Write to the Forum Office for details.

SHIPMENT OF GOODS

The COC has designated a customs agent or broker to handle the release of goods shipped by participants to the Forum. It is responsible for the release of shipped materials through Chinese customs and for providing a storage warehouse for those materials. Participants are solely responsible for any and all costs associated with the shipment of their goods.

If you requested to have an activity prior to the April 30 deadline,you will be provided detailed guidelines regarding customs procedures for the shipment of goods, fees, storage, rental of equipment, the use of Forum facilities, setup time, and other administrative arrangements separately.

If you did not request an activity at the Forum but wish to ship goods for use at the Forum, please send a fax to the Activities Section of the Forum Office to request a copy of those guidelines.

FORUM IDENTIFICATION PASS

To claim your pass, you will need an original Registration Confirmation Letter and your passport. Participants staying in Huairou may claim their pass at the Petroleum Building near the Forum site. Those staying in Beijing may claim their pass at the Beijing International Convention Center Tennis Club. Further information on dates, time, and location will be included in your Hotel Confirmation Letter from the COC.

If you currently live in China or are not staying at a hotel, please contact the COC for details on where you may claim your Forum Identification Pass.

You will not be admitted into the Forum site without your Forum Identification Pass.

TRANSPORTATION

Shuttle buses are provided free of charge from designated hotels to the Forum site and from the UN Conference site to the Forum site upon presentation of your Forum Identification Pass.

You may purchase a pass for $10 for rides on special buses running from the airport or railway station to hotels, and from hotels to visiting places and shopping centers. It is also good for travel on public buses, trolleys, and the subway within Beijing city limits from August 27 to September 17. These passes may be purchased at the Forum site. Participants will be charged an additional fee for visits to tourist spots arranged through travel agencies.

Only those with a Chinese driver's license are allowed to drive in China. However, chauffeur-driven cars and buses are available for hire. Please call the Transportation Division of the COC directly for more information. Contact: Mr. Jia Junwu and Mr. Wang Wei at 205-0523 or 205-4350.

FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE

All guests from abroad must use the Renminbi (RMB) while in China. Currencies reported in your customs declaration form upon entry must be taken out upon departure. Foreign currencies may be exchanged at banks and most hotels.

Foreign exchange counters will also be available at the Forum site for your convenience. Twenty foreign currencies are available for conversion and will be exchanged according to the exchange rate at the time of transaction.

Credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB Card are widely accepted in China. Cash withdrawals may only be made from banks. You may use foreign currency traveler's checks, credit cards, or cash (in RMB) to pay your hotel and other expenses in China.

THE NGO FORUM ON WOMEN '95 PROGRAM

Overview of Programs & Activities

The NGO Forum on Women provides an historic opportunity for the global community of women to present the world with a vision for the 21st century, one that is human-centered and informed by looking at the world through women's eyes.

The Program of the NGO Forum will have three distinct but interconnected objectives:

  1. Agenda Setting for the global movement of women
  2. Networking and celebrating
  3. Influencing the UN intergovernmental Conference

The Program of Plenaries will be the site of the Agenda Setting for the global movement of women and will bring together women from the five regions, reflecting their diversity and perspectives. The Plenaries will provide the space for critical reflection and assessment of the current global forces that are having a wide impact on the human community, showcase and evaluate strategies that responded to these forces from the local to global levels and provide the impetus for women's action plans and agendas for Beijing and beyond.

The Plenaries will be held each day during the course of the Forum, from August 31 to September 8.

NGO activities at the Forum will run the gamut from workshops to tribunals, from panels to theater, from songs and dances to exhibitions and marketplaces. The Forum Office is scheduling about 5,000 activities and events requested from all corners of the world.

The activities are being organized in thematic clusters with space open for spontaneous meetings. The thematic groups are:

  1. Economy;
  2. Governance and Politics;
  3. Human Rights;
  4. Peace and Human Security;
  5. Education;
  6. Health;
  7. Environment;
  8. Spirituality and Religion;
  9. Science and Technology;
  10. Media and Information;
  11. Arts and Culture;
  12. Race and Ethnicity.

There will be regional tents and an international tent providing space for a "global townhall." There will also be a tent for each of the diversity groups:

  1. Refugee/Stateless Women;
  2. Indigenous Women;
  3. Youth;
  4. Older Women;
  5. Women with Disabilities;
  6. Lesbians.

These tents are provided free of charge and are for spontaneous activities determined by the users. There will be, upon request, a limited number of booths for rent.

Influencing the UN Conference

One of the main activities at the Forum will be the strategy to influence the UN inter-governmental meeting taking place in Beijing. With a satellite site (to be announced later) available for all participants, both accredited and non-accredited NGOs will have access to governmental delegates. In addition, accredited NGOs will have use of the Beijing Recreation Center as a base for lobbying. Arrangements will be made to ensure that NGOs at the Forum site can follow the deliberations at the UN meeting an d provide their input through accredited NGOs.

Youth

The Youth Tent will be a space for spontaneous activities for youth at the NGO Forum. Organized by youth under 30, the tent will be a place where young women from around the world can share their ideas with their peers and women of other generations. Intergenerational dialogues will be a major thrust of these activities.

Young women will discuss issues of particular concern to them, develop networks, envision the future, and build bridges among regions, sectors, and issues. The tent will follow the themes of the Forum, exploring them from a youth perspective. It will also include a space for girls to come together and will host the Girls Caucus and other activities focusing on girls and their experiences.

Young women will participate in a daily radio show organized by Feminist International Radio Endeavor (FIRE). A "Youth Day" will highlight the role of youth within the women's movement and their work within their organizations.

There will be a youth celebration and jam, so bring your instruments. Banners, posters, and music are also welcome for use in the tent.

Cultural Events

For eight days and eight evenings, the Forum will celebrate women through cultural performances in dance, music, theater, poetry, and storytelling.

Cultural performances, film and video exhibitions, and workshops are planned.

In the evenings, women from each of the five regions of the world as well as our Chinese hosts will have an opportunity to showcase their talents and entertain their peers.

FACILITIES & SERVICES AT THE NGO FORUM

All NGO Forum activities will take place within the designated 42-hectare space in Huairou and satellite sites in Beijing provided specifically for its participants. The opening ceremony will take place in the stadium of the National Olympic Sports Center in Beijing.

The Forum site in Huairou will have the following facilities and services for its participants:

  1. Banks
  2. Post offices (including mail boxes)
  3. Business center (including computers, telephones, fax machines, printers, and photocopiers)
  4. Information and documentation center
  5. Travel agency services
  6. Center for religious activities
  7. Message centers
  8. Day care facilities
  9. Lost and found center
  10. Marketplace

Access for Participants with Disabilities

The COC is working as much as possible to provide a barrier-free Forum site.

Medical Services

Medical stations will be provided at the Forum site, with medical services provided by several hospitals. Common illnesses will be treated free of charge.

Those requiring hospitalization or tests using medical equipment will be charged the appropriate fees established by the Beijing Municipality.

Communications

Both the Forum and the UN Conference will be linked via Internet, so that participants can have access to the documents being distributed at the UN Conference. Limited e-mail services will also be available. Closed-circuit TV monitors will be provided at the Forum site to enable participants to monitor the activities of the UN Conference.

Office Supplies

You may purchase office supplies at supply stores provided at the Forum site.

However, you are encouraged to bring special supplies that you will absolutely need to do your work at the Forum. Bringing your own portable printer is also a good idea.

ACCOMMODATIONS

All hotel reservations are being handled exclusively by the COC in Beijing. You may book your hotels through a travel agency provided that the travel agency books the hotel through the COC, which issues the Hotel Confirmation Letter.

You will not be given your visa without this Hotel Confirmation Letter from the COC and an original Registration Confirmation Letter from the Forum Office.

New Hotel Reservation Form

Due to the change of site to Huairou, all Forum participants are required to fill out the "New Hotel Reservation Form" included in this packet and send it to the COC by July 5, 1995. The old Hotel Reservation Forms are no longer valid.

If you booked your hotel through a travel agency, you must fill out the New Hotel Reservation Form and ask your travel agent to contact the COC immediately. The COC will honor all these bookings. If you wish to change or book a hotel in Huairou, your travel agent must book the hotel through the COC.

There will be hotel accommodations in Huairou and in downtown Beijing near the Beijing International Convention Center. The majority of Forum participants are encouraged to stay in hotels/accommodations in Huairou, so that they will not have to move back and forth from downtown Beijing. Participants accredited to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women will be encouraged to stay in Beijing hotels.

There are no 4- or 5-star hotels in Huairou. Budget accommodations in Huairou consist of newly built residential apartment buildings with one toilet and bath for each apartment with 2-3 rooms. These apartments are located within 5 kilometers of the Forum site. Each apartment has telephones (local lines), a TV set, and electric fans. There are six apartment clusters. Each cluster has international direct-dial lines, fax machines, and photocopiers available for participants to use.

To reserve a hotel room:

If you wish to keep your hotel room after the Forum, you must obtain your hotel's permission in advance. The rates are only in effect until two days after the Forum for those not officially attending the UN Conference. Stated rates apply for the duration of the UN Fourth World Conference for accredited NGOs.

Accredited NGOs attending the UN Conference and the NGO Forum

If you are attending the NGO Forum as well as the UN Fourth World Conference on Women as an official representative of your accredited NGO, please fill out this New Hotel Reservation Form to cover your entire stay in China. If you wish to stay in Huairou and then move to Beijing for the UN Conference, you should indicate your preferences on this form. Note that your request is subject to the availability of accommodations during your preferred dates.

Group Reservations

If your group wishes to stay in the same hotel, each participant must fill out a New Hotel Reservation Form. Attach a cover letter that includes a list of participants in your group and, if necessary, indicate who would like to room together.

Installing office equipment in your hotel

Forum participants must inform their hotel in advance and be given permission if they wish to bring equipment, such as personal copiers, computers, and fax machines, into their rooms.

There are business centers with photocopiers, typewriters, fax machines, and telephones provided for a fee for Forum participants in most hotels. If your hotel does not have a business center and you wish to rent equipment, please contact the Administration and Finance Committee of the COC.

Refunds

No refunds for hotel accommodations will be given after July 31, 1995.

Questions

Please contact the COC in Beijing for any questions regarding hotel accommodations not addressed in this packet or any concerns you may have. Tel: (8610) 522-5364/522-5365. Fax: (8610) 522-5326/522-5329.

NGO Forum Satellite Site (Beijing)

The NGO Forum Satellite Site, which is located close to the UN Conference site, is a meeting place for accredited and non-accredited NGOs. Because of its proximity to the UN Conference site, it will also be a place for non-accredited NGOs to meet government delegates. More information on this site will be provided later.

Beijing Recreation Center

The Multifunctional Hall and other rooms at the Beijing Recreation Center will be provided to those NGOs accredited to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women.

The Center will be closed to the public. Lounges, restaurants, and other facilities in the Center will be open to participants. Closed-circuit TV monitors and a big screen TV will be provided for participants to monitor the UN proceedings. The NGO Daily Briefing will be held here.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

WEATHER

The average temperature in Beijing in August is 76.1 degrees Fahrenheit (24.5 degrees Celsius) and 67.6 degrees Fahrenheit (19.8 degrees Celsius) in September.

WHAT TO BRING

We suggest that you pack summer clothes, like thin shirts, skirts, or pants, as well as thin sweaters and a jacket. We also recommend that you bring a raincoat or umbrella.

Because the Forum site is within a 42-hectare area, you will need good walking shoes. There are also several cultural events planned in the evenings, so you may want to bring one or two appropriate attires.

Make sure you bring necessities, like your prescription medications and other personal items that may not be readily available. You may also want to bring sufficient quantities of film (especially slides) and any camera accessories you may need.

Electricity is 220 volts, 50 cycles AC. Most modern hotels have international standard two-pin sockets, while older ones use three-pin plugs. You may wish to bring your own conversion plugs or adapters. Rechargeable batteries, battery chargers, and flashlights are also good things to take with you.

For more detailed information, please refer to guidebooks on China and other sources.

SECURITY

To ensure their safety, all Forum participants are required to show their Forum Identification Pass to security staff at the Forum site. The pass must be visible at all times while at the Forum. Government delegates and UN staff with passes to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women and accredited media will be allowed into the Forum upon presentation of their pass.

Participants are reminded that activities of participants outside the 42-hectare space in Huairou and satellite sites provided for the Forum will be subject to the laws and regulations of China.

You are reminded that your registration fee is non-refundable. The NGO Forum on Women is not liable for any injuries, damages, or losses to persons or property during your participation in the NGO Forum.

CHECKLIST

URGENT! New Hotel Reservation Form enclosed must be returned by July 5, 1995.