Sweet and sour welcome for delegates
UN WOMEN'S CONFERENCE
Tuesday 29 August 1995
The United Nations flag was raised, the Peking Express arrived to a fanfare welcome at the city's main railway station, and the baggage-handling system at the airport was tested to endurance yesterday as women from all corners of the world arrived in China for the largest international women's meeting yet, which begins tomorrow.
The most striking arrival was that of the 250 educators, activists and artists, the majority from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union who turned up six hours behind schedule. The delay was too much for the security officials waiting at the station, who began bundling the women into buses before some of them had even had time to collect their luggage. "I have to get my bag," protested a middle-aged woman. "Let's go, Let's go," shouted a policeman in Chinese, as he directed her towards the buses.
The Peking Express, from Warsaw, one of several women's trains arriving in the Chinese capital in the next few days, was sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme. Among its passengers was Vanessa Vadim, the daughter of Jane Fonda and Roger Vadim (famous for his film And God Created Woman). Jane Fonda will also be heading for Peking in time for the women's forum. Speaking of the seminars which took place on the train on such subjects as democratisation and presentation skills, Ms Vadim said: "It was a small amount of space when you have 20 to 30 people in the same room ... but actually it went incredibly smoothly."
Earlier, at the airport, the processing of planeloads of women arrived also went smoothly. "It feels very good to be here," said Loretta Ross, from the Centre for Democratic Renewal, based in Atlanta, Georgia. "We were told the government of China was going to do everything to keep us radical women out. Turns out the power of women is stronger even than the government of China."
The women were whisked by coach to the town of Huairou, the site of the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Forum. The forum runs from tomorrow until 8 September, overlapping with the 4 September to 15 September governmental UN World Conference on Women in the capital.
Yesterday morning the UN flag was hoisted over the official conference site, based around the Asian Games Village on the north side of the capital. The secretary-general of the governmental conference, Gertrude Mongella, said: "This will be the biggest and I dare say most important UN conference in history, because it is not about one group or the other. This conference affects every human being on Earth."
Among the delegates were several who would not normally be welcomed into China, including Pierre Sane, head of Amnesty International. It is the first official visit by the group to China. "We are seeking guarantees that human rights are a woman's right," it said in a statement.
Section Two, page 2
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Women in Turkey have a laugh in public at the deputy Prime Minister's expense
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Australian model Robyn Lawley stages naked protest against huge coal mine seven times the size of Sydney Harbour
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
£9 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Warrington a...
Unpaid Voluntary Work : Cancer Research UK: We need motivational volunteers to...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable...
£200 - £300 per day: Ashdown Group: IT Trainer - Marlow, Buckinghamshire - £25...