The secretary General represented UCLG-A at the 30th anniversary of the registration of the City of Marrakesh on the World Heritage of UNESCO from 18 to 20 December 2015.
The ceremony was attended by Mr. Mohamed Larbi Belcaid, Mayor of the City of Marrakesh, Mr Ahmed Toufiq, Minister of Islamic Affairs and of the Habous, Mr. Mohamed Amine Sbihi, Minister of Culture, Mr Mohamed El Wafa, Minister of General Affairs and Governance, Mr Michael Millward, Representative of UNESCO in Morocco, Mr Mohamed Younes, Representative of ISESCO, the Consulate of France in Marrakesh, Eric Jerard.
On 19 December 2015 in the morning, the meeting received a paper on the Challenges of Safeguarding Heritage by Mr Abdelaziz Touri, former Head of the World Heritage Committee, UNESCO. He pointed out that Morocco was one of the founder of UNESCO. He highlighted the statement by King Mohamed VI at the 53th meeting of UNESCO in 2013, on the importance of Heritage for development. He concluded by insisting on the need for the Network of Moroccan World Heritage Cities put in place on 18 December 2015 to keep close contact with the Center of the World Heritage of UNESCO. The first meeting of the Network will take place in Rabat in 2016. ICOMOS Maroc offered to host the new Network for free.
Then followed a paper on Safeguarding Heritage in the Marrakesh Medina by Mr Abdellatif Nahli, permanent secretary, Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.
Mr Xavier Salmon, General Heritage Curator, the Louvre Muséum, France, then made a presentation on the Beauty of Marrashki Heritage, followed by a presentation by Mr Azzouz Boujmid, director, inspectorate of historical monuments, on the state of Heritage upgrading operations of the Marrakshi Medina implemented by the Ministry of Culture.
Ingeneer Toufik Bahjaoui from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and the Habous presented a report on the restoration of religious Heritage in the City of Marrakech followed by a presentation by Architect Rachid Elhouda on “A critical reflexion on Heritage Safeguarding in the City of Marrakech”.
The meeting finally received a presentation by Hon Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto, Portugal, on The experience of Heritage Safeguarding in a Portuguese City.
In the afternoon of 19 December, the meeting addressed the topic of oral and intangible Heritage, in particular around storrytellers of the Jamal Ifna Open Space. The meeting received testimony by the Spanish Writer, Juan Goytisolo, who was at the origin of the adoption of the oral and intangible Heritage by UNESCO.
On Sunday 20 December 2015 the proceedings took place at Mellah neighborhood in Hay Salam; and in the Koutoubia Open space, Marrakesh. This offered the opportunity to interact with the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities of Marrakesh. The students of the Marrakesh National School of Architecture presented their Book on Places repository of the historical memory of the City of Marrakesh. An announcement was made on the creation on a Heritage Library in Marrakech.