HIC President Davinder Lamba and Khady Diagne from Enda-Rup (Dakar) welcomed the General Assembly and expressed the Coalition’s solidarity with the people’s struggles in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as with human rights militants who have been imprisoned.
2. Verification of quorum
Thirty-five people attended the General Assembly (GA) meeting, including participants from seven countries in the Francophone Africa region and thirteen other countries around the world. Sixteen of the participants were women nineteen were men. Eighteen HIC members had the right to vote. See details in Annex 1.
3. Review and approval of the agenda
4. Review and approval of the minutes from Rio de Janeiro, 2010
The GA minutes from Rio de Janeiro were approved, with one comment made by Korotimy Théra regarding the fact that the Rio minutes make no mention of the HIV/AIDS workshop.
5. General Secretariat’s Audit
The General Secretariat financial resources audit was presented to the GA by the treasurer, Léon Guy Mfomou. It was difficult for members to understand the report’s contents, because, as Yves Joël Zoffoun remarked, it is written in Spanish and is therefore hard for francophone participants to understand and approve. At the time of the GA meeting, the financial reports of other structures were not yet ready because the meeting was held at the beginning of the year. In addition, it was noted that certain focal points do not present their financial reports because they do not directly administer finances on behalf of HIC, as is the case in Francophone Africa.
Decided: Given that the majority of the 2010 financial reports are not yet ready, the GA voted on the 2009 financial statements (presented in the Annual Report) and will vote on the 2010 financial statements when they are ready later in the year.
Motion approved: 14 in favour, 4 abstentions
6. Regional and thematic reports
7. Review of the HIC global strategy
Structures must develop a common plan of action, reach an agreement on operational rules, and improve democratic practices in the management of the Coalition. It is therefore fundamental to develop and consolidate communication tools such as HICademy and the Member Space, as well as knowledge and concrete solutions for the habitat issues in which HIC holds its main competences.
Working groups were formed to review the Coalition’s 2005-2007 strategic lines and to construct new strategic lines for the period from 2011-2013. The results of the working groups can be found in Annex 2 and 3. The General Secretariat will present a proposed text incorporating the results of the different groups within the next three months.
February 6th, 9:00am to 3:30pm
8. Book launch “Villes pour toutes et tous” [Cities for All]
A presentation was given of the French edition of the HIC publication “Cities for All” which was originally presented in 2010 during the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro. It is important for the Coalition to present its work on the right to the city in the context of the World Social Forum. The book includes theoretical reflections as well as case studies on local struggles for the right to the city worldwide. The decentralised activities carried out by the World Assembly of Inhabitants are completely linked with the purposes of the book.
9. Habitat et Participation: Habitat groupé (co-housing) and a world map of social movements
Habitat groupé is a housing alternative formed of a group of people which is being practiced more frequently for social, economic and ecological reasons. A Charter of common values is drawn up by each habitat groupé, which includes obligations for solidarity between inhabitants (welcoming people in difficult situations, of different generations, etc.) and community projects (collective kitchens or gardens, social economy, etc.).
Habitat et Participation (HeP) is currently working on the creation of a resource website on Urban Habitat in the world, with the support of social movements, associations and structures. Through the intercultural dialogue between (urban) habitat actors, this website will assist in the comprehension of the habitat realities of different groups and will reinforce HIC capacities to make proposals or recommendations to be addressed with politicians. See the HeP presentation in Annex 4.
10. Collaboration WITNESS-HIC
In 2010, WITNESS decided to extend its current work to end forced evictions through a three-year global campaign. Along these lines, WITNESS and HIC began working together, exploring how documentation through video could be used strategically to advance HIC’s advocacy work at local, regional and international levels.
To achieve these objectives, WITNESS and HIC will collaborate to provide video training to a few HIC members, with support for filming and strategic distribution to key decision-makers, reporting on the human rights violations that result from forced evictions. The presentation made by WITNESS to the GA can be found in Annex 5.
11. HIC Strategies in the WSF
Activities were organised in the Village of Inhabitants tent, as well as in the Guédiawaye neighbourhood, in collaboration with No-Vox and AIH (World Assembly of Inhabitants) to build regional and international strategies for housing and land rights. In addition, HIC organised a field visit to the Baraka neighbourhood to learn about the situation of forced eviction that this community is facing, as well as a field visit to Gorée Island, a memorial site of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
12. Next HIC meeting
Due to financial and other logistical circumstances, no decision was made about the location of the next HIC meeting. For the moment, two proposals were made: Rio de Janeiro, coinciding with Rio+20 in May 2012; and Rabat (Morocco).
It is also important to reinforce the Coalition’s work through internet sources and to organise more Skype conferences between GA meetings. It must also be stressed that work towards HIC global meetings must be done in advance in order to raise funds, buy plane tickets and complete visa applications.