THE EARTH TIMES
SEPTEMBER 15, 1995
Our Beijing experience
BY ASHALI VARMA
This is the penultimate edition of our newspaper at the Fourth World Conference on Women; by the time the last edition of the The Earth Times comes out tomorrow (Saturday), most delegates will be taking off from Beijing –we will provide them copies of the paper at the international airport’s departure lounge, thanks to the kind permission granted by the Chinese Ministry of foreign Affairs.
For our newspaper’s staff, covering the Conference has been an extraordinary business. Nothing in our experience of having been at world parleys over the last four years quite prepared us for Beijing. The Conference itself was complex in the issues it dealt-with. We came here to focus on those issue and to highlight how the host country was, working to ensure the success of the Conference. We like to think that we kept our word to our leaders, and to our hosts.
As Executive Publisher of The Earth Times, it is my obligation to thank those who made possible our presence our production and our publication in Beijing. The United Nations’s senior officials–especially Under Secretary General Ismat Kittani, Conference Secretary General Gertrude Mongella, Conference Spokesperson Therese Gastaut, and Sonia Lecca–get our warmest appreciation. So do top Chinese officials and organizations, especially Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Li Zhaoxing, Wang Yunxiang, the Director of Information at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the China Organizing Committee. To our journalistic hosts at Gongren Ribao, too, we wish to express gratitude publicly for helping us bring the paper out on time.
And to all the men and women of China whom we encountered-from hotel staff to drivers to guides to interpreters shopkeepers to everyday citizens-our very special thanks. This is a great country–an ancient land in a modem state, and we feel privileged as journalists that China opened its doors to The Earth Times for a much-too-brief but high memorable moment in our lives.