The Earth Negotiations Bulletin is pleased to present Voices from Beijing, a series of interviews from participants at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. As a new feature of our coverage of environment and development meetings, we hope these discussions give you a more complete sense of the conference, its issues and process.
As negotiations drew to a close Thursday, 14 September, Linkages and Feminist Intenational Radio Endeavor (FIRE) sat down to evaluate the Fourth World Conference on Women with a small group of women NGOs:
- Jean Laguerder, assistant vice president of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement;
- Anita Nayar, Programme Coordinator of the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO);
- Litha Musyimi Ogana is Executive Director of Family Life Promotion & Services;
- Maria Suarez produces shortwave radio programming for Feminist International Radio Endeavor (FIRE).
Linkages spoke in Chinese about the status of women in China, new issues China is facing and China's new commitment. Tuesday, 12 September with:
- Fan Xiao Mei, Vice Governor of Shaanxi Province, China. She is a government delegate at the Fourth World Conference on Women.
On Tuesday, 12 September, Linkages explored the human rights language in the Platform for Action with:
Entre actividades en el Dia de la Juventud a la Conferencia Mundial de las Mujeres, 11 Septiembre, Linkages habl� sobre temas de la juventud, medio ambiente y la sexualidad con:
- Lydia Alpizar, delegada de Costa Rica y coordinadora del programa de la juventud del Consejo de la Tierra en San Jos�, Costa Rica.
Environmental issues, including the recent French nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll, were topics covered when Linkages met on 9 September with:
- Gracie Fong of the Women and Fisheries Network, a research and advocacy organization working for women in the South Pacific. She is participating in the Environmental Caucus at the conference.
Linkages discussed the confrontation between the feminist agenda and moral conservative forces on sexuality, reproductive and sexual rights and related issues, on Saturday, 9 September with:
- Sonia Correa of IBASE (Brasilian Institute for Social and Economic Analysis). She is the founder of Sos-Corp Genero E Cidadania, Brasil, and a member of DAWN, Development Alternative Women for a New Era, a southern-based research and activist network.
On Friday, 8 September, Linkages interviewed:
On Thursday, 7 September, Linkages spoke with:
Several days into the official meeting, Linkages spoke with:
The following interviews give two perspectives on the situation and prospects of the conference on the eve of its opening:
- Wally N'Dow, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Secretary-General of the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), scheduled to take place in Istanbul in June. He is Executive Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat).
- Kathy Townsend, head of Australia's Office of the Status of Women and Deputy Head of the Australian Delegation at the Fourth World Conference on Women.
The interviews are formatted as RealAudio files. To hear these interviews on the fly, you need a soundcard and a RealAudio player. The software can be downloaded from Progressive Networks, which also provides information on how to install and use the free player software.
- Rachel Kyte is Senior Policy Analyst with the International Women's Health Coalition and former executive director of Women's Environment and Development Organization.
- John Mathiason is Deputy Director of the UN Division for Advancement of Women.
You may notice that the sound quality is a bit crunchy. That is partly because we are learning how to do this, and partly because that's the level of quality you get from RealAudio, a new and innovative internet tool whose sound has been compared with AM radio. We hope that the content, straight talk from the women and men dealing with women's issues around the world, is reasonable compensation.