Delegation to the Upcoming WILPF Regional Americas Meeting

By Melissa I. M. Torres

WILPF-US is participating in the Regional Americas Meeting April 23–27 in Colombia. The focus will be the Americas’ implementation of SCR1325, WILPF’s role in Human Rights, and the centennial. WILPF Colombia, U.S., Mexico, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Canada are participating.

Delegates will comment on the various regionalization schemes in the International Ad Hoc Committee Report from their countries’ perspectives. Please send suggestions to no later than April 1. Meeting comments will be given to the Constitution Committee in preparing the revised draft for adoption at the 2015 International Congress.

In November, we asked WILPF members to weigh in on similar questions facing WILPF at the International level by reading and commenting on the WILPF International Ad Hoc Committee report. At this time, no substantive comments have been made by any members in the US section. In order to further discussion of these important matters, Catia Confortini—WILPF-US’s representative on the WILPF International Board—will be hosting a conference call at 3 p.m. ET/12 noon PT on Sunday, March 16. The dial in number is: 443-453-0034, access code:  848602. Please familiarize yourself with the report before joining the call.

WILPF-US delegates are Melissa I. M. Torres (pictured left) and Mary Sanderson (pictured right).

Mary, 65, active in WILPF Madison since 1979, served as president and has been working on rebuilding the branch after recent changes. Through her  WILPF branch, she has collaborated with the Colombia Support Network and served as their delegate to a Colombian Peace Community. She is a Spanish medical interpreter and, with her Colombian husband, has three sons.

Melissa, 33, has remained active in WILPF-US since her 2011 UN Practicum delegation. She serves on the Practicum Oversight Committee, presented at a WILPF-sponsored UN event, is co-faculty for 2014’s Practicum, and recently joined the Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee. A PhD candidate in social work at the University of Houston, she co-founded the Latin American Initiative and leads Spanish-speaking study abroad classes. Melissa is the content expert on the USDHHS initiative of President Obama’s Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services to Victims of Human Trafficking.

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