Letter: How to keep the Peking promises

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The Independent Online
From Ms Ann Keeling and

Ms Jackie Peace

Sir: Teresa Poole's excellent article about the Peking Conference and NGO Forum (7 September) makes the valid point that documents alone cannot effect change and that action is needed after the conference to ensure that the Platform for Action will have an impact on women's lives.

The British Council intends to play a key role in ensuring that country papers and the Platform are put into action. We view Peking as a process, rather than a single event. Our preparations for the Peking Conference began in 1992 and we are already planning follow-up activities. Particularly important in our preparations was the training in lobbying and communication skills which we provided for NGO representatives from 37 countries in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe and the former Soviet Union. This has increased their lobbying effectiveness at the conference and provided them with skills that they will continue to use after the conference to press governments to take action on their promises at Peking.

Yours faithfully

Ann Keeling

Lead Consultant, Social Policy

and Gender

Jackie Peace

Consultant Management

British Council