Libya’s Ambassador to UNESCO Requests Ghadames Be Removed the List of Endangered World Heritage Sites – Al Marsad

Libya’s ambassador and permanent representative to UNESCO, Hafed Walda, has called on the UNESCO World Heritage site to remove the ancient city of Ghadames from the list of endangered sites.

(LIBYA, 23 July 2021) Libya’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Hafed Walda, in his intervention during the 44th Session of the World Heritage Committee held in the city of Fuzhou in China, according to the Libyan News Agency, he explained that Libya has taken important steps towards preserving the properties of the ancient city of Ghadames .

He said he properties in Ghadames, which were listed among the endangered sites, were not directly affected by the armed conflict that occurred in 2011 and after.

Ghadames, Libya

He indicated that the effect of the 2011 conflict was limited and with some minor impact because sufficient funding was not allocated to carry out repair and maintenance operations. Walda said the deterioration and collapse of a number of homes in December 2017 and March 2019 was the result of heavy rains due to climate change, rather than neglect.

In his speech, Ambassador Walda said Libya will adopt all the corrective measures submitted and will adhere to the time frame for their implementation. He also renewed the invitation to UNESCO’s monitoring mission to visit the city of Ghadames and other Libyan World Heritage sites.

He also expressed his country’s great hope that the next meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee would see the removal of the city of Ghadames from the list of endangered sites, and said he was confident on the ability of the people of Ghadames to preserve their city to the highest standards.

Libyan Ambassador to UNESCO Hafed Walda with head of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay.

In his intervention, he also expressed his appreciation for all the words of encouragement and continuous support from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and its advisory bodies, and their recognition of the efforts made by the Libyan state in managing the World Heritage site in the ancient city of Ghadames.

He praised the efforts made by the Netherlands Fund in supporting the project to strengthen national capacities to develop corrective measures for Libyan World Heritage properties.

The UNESCO session, originally scheduled for 2020, but postponed due to the coronavirus, is expected to run until 31 July and will review sites nominated for entry into the UNESCO World Heritage List and examine the state of conservation of sites already on the list.