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Yemen has 6 more months to meet UNESCO standards.

SANA'A, June 20 -- During the World Heritage Conference in Cambodia this past week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) gave Yemen six months to meet the standards it has set for Zabid and Sana'a's Old City or risk losing its World Heritage List status.

A Yemeni delegation was present at the conference, where they petitioned the organization to add Socotra, Shibam-Kawkaban and Al-Hajrain city to the World Heritage List.

UNESCO demanded the removal of recent constructions in the Old City and the building of infrastructure in Zabid to be away from historical sites.

Arfat Al-Hadrmi, the former manager of the Manuscripts and Historic Cities Center in Zabid, said that addressing the violations would require a period of time and government funding.

He told the Yemen Times that the Ministry of Culture should work to address the violations and adopt a schedule for repairs of the two cities. UNESCO has informed Yemen that it must meet certain standards or risk being removed from the list. The standards include preserving historical buildings and sites such as mosques and castles.

"The government has not fulfilled any of these conditions," Al-Hadrmi said.

Shawqi Shahir of the National Media Campaign to Preserve the Old City told Yemen Times that the campaign has started working to meet UNESCO's conditions.

There are two phases to the campaign, he said. The first is to remove structures that violate the conditions put forth by UNESCO; the second is to prevent new constructions.

The Sustainable Development Media Center reported 2000 violations in the Old City of Sana'a. The reported violations ranged from recently-built concrete buildings to poor maintenance of historical buildings.

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Publication:Yemen Times (Sana'a, Yemen)
Geographic Code:7YEME
Date:Jun 20, 2013
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