Libya's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Dr. Hafez Al-Waldah, called for the Old City of Ghadames to be removed from the 'List of World Heritage Sites in Danger' which it has been placed on due to "the effects of the armed conflict that took place in 2011 and beyond."
"The armed conflict has not had a direct impact on the Old City of Ghadames," Al-Waldah said in a statement during the 44th Session of the World Heritage Committee held in Fuzhou, China. Adding that the impacts to the city were "limited and indirect effects of the conflict such as the lack of adequate funding to carry out repairs and maintenance work."
"Unfortunately, the collapse of a number of homes in December 2017, and in March 2019, were the result of heavy rains due to climate change and not due to negligence," he noted.
Al-Waldah stressed that Libya has taken and will take further important steps towards the preservation of property in Ghadames.
He thanked the Dutch Trust Fund for its support in "strengthening national capacities to develop remedial measures for Libyan world heritage properties," stressing that Libya will continue its close working relations with the World Heritage Center and UNESCO.
Al-Waldah also renewed an invitation for an interactive observation mission to visit Ghadames and other Libyan World Heritage Sites, expressing hope that the next meeting of the World Heritage Committee will remove the Old Town from the list of threatened sites.
The World Heritage Committee session is expected to last until July 31, it was postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is scheduled to review new sites nominated for entry to the UNESCO World Heritage List and examine the conservation status of the sites already on the list.