Electoral Campaign for HIC President Election 2011 – 2015 : Lorena Zárate’s acceptance of her candidacy


Mexico City, July 26,

To members of the Electoral
Committee, and all HIC members

Re. Letter of
acceptance for the nomination as President of Habitat International Coalition

Dear comrades,

As you know, my name has been proposed as a
candidate to assume the Presidency of the Habitat International Coalition for
the following four years (November 2011-2015). I wish to express my sincerely
gratitude for the confidence and support I have received from social movements,
technical support organizations, members of academic institutions, and
activists from various regions throughout the world who are involved with HIC
as well as other international networks with whom we work.

Drawing from the views and comments that are
being shared on the blog that has been created specifically for this process (
http://president2011.hic-net.org/), it is clear that after three decades of
history, many voices concede in the need to make way to build new leaderships
within HIC. In this context, various colleagues – from Asia, Africa, Europe and
Latin America alike – have been wondering and debating over the relevance of
thinking of a female candidate for the position of HIC President, which until
now has always been assumed by a male colleague.

For me, this possibility presents me with a
great honor and huge responsibility. Firstly, because there are a great number
of people within the Coalition with the kind of professional background and
skills suited to this task. Secondly, because it was not something that was in
my plans nor was it something for which I was intentionally preparing.

I first came to collaborate with the Coalition
exactly 11 years ago, in July 2000, actively contributing (alongside various
Mexican entities including the Popular Urban Movement and the Mexico Habitat
Coalition) in the preparations for the World Assembly of Urban Inhabitants
which was held in Mexico City in October of that same year. Something that was
to last only a few months has become a fundamental part of my adult life, and
which has given me the privilege of meeting wonderful, committed people who
struggle in solidarity for the realization of the right of all people to a safe
place to live in peace and with dignity.

As part of the small but dynamic team of the
HIC-Latin American regional office, I have had the opportunity to visit HIC
members’ and friends’ projects and to participate in a number of events and
meetings, including most of the General Assembly and Board meetings. Thanks to
these moments and spaces – in person as well as by virtual means – I have
learned throughout this time to value and respect the knowledge and experience
that is held by organizations and individuals within HIC, prioritizing my daily
responsibilities on the efforts to articulate them and make them known.

Working in a network and the ability to think
and act on both the local and global scales are perhaps more essential today
than ever before. The barriers and challenges that this presents us from the
mythical Tower of Babel – not only for the diversity of languages but also and
above all for cultural differences – are no doubt far from being overcome. However the possibilities to come together
and the communication tools at our disposal today encourage us and leave us
with no excuses but to collectively assume the task before us, to confront
injustices and strengthen utopias and realities to build other possible worlds,
in our neighborhoods, towns and the planet as a whole.

If you so choose, I will assume this new role
with all my skills and energy, with the certainty of indignation and shared


Lorena Zárate