HIC General Assembly 2008 Summary


The HIC General Assembly was carried out successfully on February 12th, 2008 from 10:00 to 14:00, in the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.

The main points of the Assembly, according to the approved agenda, were as follows:

1. Arrival and Registration

2. Introduction of in-coming HIC President by out-going HIC President

HIC’s out-going President, Enrique Ortiz, gave a summary of the HIC Presidential electoral process. He reminded members that the HIC General Assembly participated in a legitimate electoral process in which the quorum needed for legitimacy was covered three-fold. He then presented the motion brought forth by HIC member Habitat Netz’s that opposed the validity of the ballot structure used in this election process. Enrique Ortiz pointed out that the member’s petition was reviewed by the Electoral Committee –which was composed of five HIC members of geographic and gender equilibrium- and they agreed that his demands did not represent the global consensus of how ballot structure should be. Enrique Ortiz also referred to a second motion brought forth by the previously mentioned member, regarding aspects of the HIC Constitution’s content. On this motion, he reminded all members present that amendments to this and other aspects of the Constitution were made by the Institutional Commission in the form of the document “HIC Presidential and Board Election and Representation By-Law which is to be reviewed today and later voted upon by this General Assembly in order to be adopted by the Coalition. The motion was not supported by any members present at the General Assembly.
As follow-up, Michael Kane presented the motion that the HIC membership meeting recognize by acclamation the results of the election of HIC President in accordance with the bylaws, procedures and processes approved by the Board. The second motion presented by Habitat Netz was not supported by any members present.
Enrique Ortiz –the out-going HIC President- then moved to introduce the in-coming HIC President Davinder Lamba who proceeded to Chair the Assembly.

3. HIC President’s welcome

Mr. Lamba presented his vision for HIC’s challenges titled “HIC’s Triple World Challenge”. Upon closing his speech, he presented a Presidential motion to make Enrique Ortiz President Emeritus. The motion was received with general applause. (Motion approved with no objections no abstentions).

4. Quorum

The quorum was recorded and there were twenty-three (23) members with the right to vote: HIC President, Mazingira Institute, Casa y Ciudad, AITEC, FUPROVI, UNMP, UMMSP, FUNDAPROVI, PLANACT, ENDA, The Wall Committee, CO.FE.PE., NAHT, CAAP, CISRC, Sathi For All Partnership, LOCOA, Federación Tierra y Vivienda, ROOFTOPS Canada, Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA), Red Habitat and RENASEH.
Proxy votes:
Habitat for Humanity Canada to Nick Volk.

5. Call for motions (must be written and handed to General Secretariat)

From Knut Unger (handed out to all members present and also shared on February 11th on HIC list serve):
1. Respect the HIC Constitution – Elect a HIC President in Accordance with the Rules (not passed)
2. Role of the GA, the Board and the General Secretary
3. Electronic Assembly
4. HIC Congress
5. Develop a HIC political agenda by consultation with membership
6. Improved structure for the global HIC management and operation
7. Improve horizontal communication among HIC members and organization’s media
8. Commission for HIC renewal

From Leonardo Pesina and Enrique Ortiz:
9. Moción de apoyo a candidaturas para la relatoría especial sobre el derecho a la vivienda adecuada de Naciones Unidas. La Asamblea General de HIC, después de conocer las tres candidaturas al puesto, decidió reconocer la calidad de las candidatas Raquel Rolnik y Leilani Farah por su esperanza y su trabajo comprometido con los derechos vinculados al hábitat principalmente de aquellos que sufren más las consecuencias de violaciones diversas de derechos humanos a la vivienda y a la carencia de políticas públicas que permitan efectividad.
Raquel Rolnik presenta las mejores condiciones para el cargo debido a su origen en Brasil, país del sur, su compromiso con los procesos sociales y sus habilidades lingüisticas. También reconocemos el trabajo comprometido de Leilani Farah con los temas de derecho a la vivienda y al hábitat.
Solicitamos que la Asamblea General de HIC instruya a la Secretaría General para elaborar una carta en este sentido a los organismos correspondientes. (see results here)

6. Approval Agenda

Agenda was seconded by Enrique Ortiz and Katherine Coit (Motion approved with no objections no abstentions).

7. Approval of Nairobi General Assembly Minutes 2007

Katherine Coit, Shivani Bhardwaj, Rabial Mallick, Issa Samandar all commented that the content was accurate. Motion was placed by Issa Samandar to approve the document and it seconded by Katherine. (Motion approved with no objections no abstentions).

8. HIC Global Report 2007

The Chair turned the floor over to the General Secretariat who explained that during the second day of the HIC Board Meetings, a Commission was created to review the content of the draft of the Annual Report in order to determine the best way to create the final version considering format, content and target audience.

9. Financial Statement 2007

The Chair then turned the floor over to the Treasurer who reviewed the content of the statement with the General Assembly for over an hour. The conversation touched on format issues and standardization concerns. Present at the meeting were Misereor representatives who proposed solutions for these concerns. The General Secretary informed that the publication of the annual report 2007 will include an integrated financial balance and the budget 2008 of four HIC structures (President, HIC-AL, HLRN and GS).

10. Adoption of HIC presidential and board election and Representation By-law

The Chair turned the floor to Joseph Schechla in his quality of spokesperson to the Institutional Commission to explain the different changes proposed to the document “Guidelines for Elections of HIC President and Representatives to the Board”. The document was approved by the Board in Cairo 2005 with the objective of motioning it to become a By-Law once the Board reviewed it extensively. Thus, the HIC Institutional Commission made the final revisions to the document and motioned it as “HIC Presidential and Board Election and Representation By-Law”.
The official translations of this By-Law will be worked upon in the coming weeks.
There were amendments to the document proposed by Michael Kane and Klaus Teschner to the definition of General Assembly, which was motioned as follows: For the purpose of this By-law, the term “General Assembly” refers to all members of the Coalition eligible to attend General Assembly meetings and participate in elections, in accordance with the Constitution and this By-law.
This motion was seconded by Kath Coit and Michael Kane. (Motion approved with no objections no abstentions).
Other amendments regarded the format of the registry of payment of HIC Dues: Anelise Melendez motioned that the date of the first payment of a member’s fee is the renewal date for their fee. Motion seconded by Michael Kane. (Motion approved with no objections no abstentions).

Finally, the new By-Laws were submitted to approval –with the amendments previously mentioned- to the General Assembly. Twenty-two (22) votes were caste in favor, No abstentions, no against). Thus the motion was approved unanimously. (Motion approved with no objections no abstentions).

11. Report of the Strategic Workshop 2008

The Chair turned the floor over to the General Secretariat who explained that during the last two days (February the 10th and 11th) the HIC Board and HIC members present have worked on reviewing the HIC strategic lines and subsequently the development of an operational plan. Different working groups were created to work on each of the following strategic topics: (1) social production of habitat, (2) housing and land rights, (3) gender, (4) environment, (5) privatization, (6) conflicts. At the same time, two other commissions worked on (a) institutional matters and on (b) the alliance building process.

12. Deliberation on motions

Han Van Putten, President Emeritus, commented that Habitat Netz’s proposals were made with the well being of the organization in mind and therefore should be considered. However he states that they are too long to discuss properly and it may be the Executive Committee who would best reach these conclusions since the Coalition is already working on each one of these issues as the implementation of the HIC evaluation’s recommendations.
Leonardo Pessina requested that since the motion on the Special Rapporteur is not related to organizational issues, it could be taken into consideration on the floor.
Enrique Ortiz seconded both suggestions and motioned to have the Executive Committee review Habitat Netz’s motions and, due to the urgency of the Special Rapporteur motion, for it to be taken into consideration within the General Assembly meeting.
Motion on Special Rapporteur was then presented by Leonardo Pessina as stated above (See point 5).
The motion was seconded by all twenty-three (23) members (Motion approved with no objections no abstentions). See results here

13. Next General Assembly

Next General Assembly is set to be in Belem do Para, Brazil in the occasion of the World Social Forum 2009.

14. Closure

Davinder Lamba thanked everyone and reminded those present that the Coalition is ever improving.