When I was the World Service Office (WSO) Meeting Planner, the World Service Conference (WSC) seemed so mysterious to me! As part of my position, I helped with WSC registration, meals, room set-ups, etc., but I had no idea what was happening in that room—the General Session, where the WSC discussions and decisions took place.

As the Meeting Planner, the more I learned about the WSC, the more I worked toward a professional goal of becoming the Associate Director—Conference. And in 2007, I attended my first Conference and began discovering more about “the voice of world Al‑Anon and the guarantee that our world services shall continue to carry on under all conditions” (2022-2025 Al‑Anon/Alateen Service Manual [P-24/27] v2, p. 164).

Throughout the years in various positions at the WSO, as well as in my personal Al‑Anon membership, I have discovered the following about the WSC and its members:

  • The WSC is Al‑Anon’s annual business meeting, which accomplishes an incredible amount of work in just four days.
  • Those who serve as WSC members benefit from reading the World Service Handbook.”
  • The “Digest of Al-Anon and Alateen Policies” and the “Twelve Concepts of Service” sections of the Service Manual are also important to understanding the big picture of Al‑Anon Family Groups, Inc. (AFG).
  • There are differences between Al‑Anon, the fellowship, and AFG, Inc., the organization.
  • Some Delegates submit Chosen Agenda Item topics that affect worldwide Al‑Anon themselves, based on their knowledge of Area concerns, while others invite their members to suggest Chosen Agenda Item topics for them to submit.
  • Trustees, members of the Executive Committee, and voting members of the WSO Staff are also eligible to submit Chosen Agenda Items.
  • Conference days are long, and there is a lot of information to read prior to Conference.
  • Conference members—Delegates, Trustees, Executive Committee members, and WSO Staff—step down from other service positions.
  • Throughout the Conference, we do have some fun!

For those who are thinking about standing for Delegate, I hope this article has provided useful information to consider. It’s election time—are you standing for Delegate?

By Suzanne M., Associate Director—Conference

The Forum, August 2023

Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.