Perry Center Professor Pat Paterson participated in an academic conference at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) at Fort Benning, Georgia on March 8, 2016. The conference focused on two topics: (1) human rights (HR) and international humanitarian law (IHL) in Latin American militaries and (2) Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) initiatives in the region. March 8 marked International Women’s Day. Professor Paterson spoke during panels on both topics.
The audience consisted of approximately 120 military officers and faculty from WHINSEC. Most of the students were participants in the General Staff Officer course. Brigadier General James E. Taylor, USA, Deputy Director of Strategy, Policy and Plans at US Northern Command, was the senior US representative.
Professor Paterson also provided the closing remarks for the conference. He focused on the security challenges in the region, the international and regional environments which have broadly accepted HR and IHL standards, and the internal difficulties of implementing such programs. He used a number of examples from the US experience in Iraq and Afghanistan to demonstrate the imperative to implement HR/IHL programs and what is at stake if a country does not.