September 23, 2015

First sitting of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games Organizing Committee

The first sitting of the Organizing Committee of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games to be held in 2017 in Baku took place, under the chairmanship of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, September 23.


Azerbaijan’s First Lady, Chairperson of the Organizing Committee Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the sitting:


- Esteemed Mister President,


Respected attendees of the sitting.


First of all, Mister President, I would like to deliver my sincere gratitude to You on behalf of all the members of the Organizing Committee for Your high confidence in us. I would like to assure You that the Organizing Committee will do its utmost to ensure that the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games are prepared and held on the highest level. We will do our best to justify the high confidence of You and the people of Azerbaijan, and ensure that the Games are held on the highest level.


So far a number of large-scale international events have been held in our country. Among such events I would, of course, like to mention the first European Games that were held this year with great success. All these events showed Azerbaijan’s might, potential, and its organizational capacity. Both You and the people of Azerbaijan, sportsmen participating in the Games and guests mentioned the high-level of preparations for the Games. According to general opinion, these Games had been prepared on the level of Summer Olympic Games. I am confident the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games too will be prepared and held on the same level and enter independent Azerbaijan’s history as another victory.


The Organizing Committee has gained great experience in the preparation and holding of the first European Games. We will follow the same principles while preparing for the Islamic Solidarity Games. We will try, first of all, to arrange another great sports holiday for the people of Azerbaijan. At the same time, we will do our best to make sure that every sportsman coming to our country to participate in the Games and every guest feel themselves very comfortable, as at their own home.


As You know, during the voting at the 8th General Assembly of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 24 July 2013, a decision was taken on Azerbaijan’s hosting the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games to be held in 2017. 57 countries participated in the voting. The decision was accepted unanimously. The decision of the Assembly once more shows that the Republic of Azerbaijan has taken its worthy place among the world’s sports countries.


And now I would like to inform You of the preparation works associated with holding of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku. I should, beforehand, mention that due to the fact that there is certain time left till the Games and a number of negotiations are underway, the indices voiced today may change.


The 4th Islamic Solidarity Games are scheduled to be held in May 2017. Representatives of 57 Islamic countries are expected to participate in these Games. According to preliminary agreements, holding of competitions on 20 types of sport is planned. It is expected that over 5 thousand sportsmen will join the Games. Competitions of para-athletes and para-judo fighters on Paralympic games will be held within the Games. At the same time, one of the other distinguished features of these Games is holding of competitions on national “zorkhana” game, a non-traditional type of game. These sports types will include athletics, gymnastics, wrestling, boxing, judo, taekwondo, weightlifting, tennis, table tennis, shooting, swimming, basketball, handball, volleyball, football, karate etc.


In the preliminary phase of the preparation for the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, places of holding the competitions were determined. The competitions will be held at sports facilities existing in our country. They include Baku Olympic Stadium, the Tofig Bahramov Republican Stadium, Baku Water Sports Palace, Baku Sports Palace, Baku Crystal Hall, Baku Tennis Academy, the Heydar Aliyev Sports Arena, Bakcell Arena, Baku Shooting Centre, and Baku Expo Centre. Thus, all sports facilities reconstructed and basically repaired during the first European Games’ preparation phase will be used. There is no need for building a new sports facility, and there is no such plan.


Official opening and closing ceremonies of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games will take place at the Olympic Stadium.


I would like to bring to Your attention the preliminary proposals concerning the sports facilities where competitions on different sports types will be held. Wrestling and judo will be held at the Heydar Aliyev Sports Arena; volleyball, boxing, taekwondo and karate at Baku Crystal Hall; swimming at the Water Sports Palace; table tennis at the Baku Sports Palace; tennis at the Baku Tennis Academy; shooting at the Baku Shooting Centre; basketball, handball, weightlifting at the Baku Expo Centre, and football competitions at the Olympic Stadium and Bakcell Arena. Mass media people will be accommodated in the Media Village. I would like to once more mention that the experience we have gained during the first European Games showed that the newly created Athletes Village operated on the highest level, and every sportsman residing there mentioned very high level of all preparation works.


World-wide promotion of the event and information support is one of the key issues that are facing us. As a first step, an Internet portal will be made to give comprehensive information about the Games. We are planning to disseminate information in the world media concerning the holding of the Islamic Solidarity Games.


Dear Mister President, we have gained unexampled experience by holding the first European Games in our country, which formed very high requirements in such spheres as management, organization and logistics works, communication, information, transparency etc. for the following events. The legacy of the European Games laid the foundation for the solution of such issues as safety, provision of transportation, other technical support, and organizational matters. Therefore, the primary objective is, relying on this foundation, to ensure high-level preparations for the Games, make all existing sports facilities fully ready for the competitions, and preparedness of the national teams for the Games. It should be mentioned that one of the issues facing us is to form the idea of the opening and closing ceremonies, solution of technical issues, including embarking on the making of medals and logotype sketch drafts and designs. Broadcasting of these respected sports competitions is of special importance. Negotiations are now underway with relevant organizations on granting the right of broadcasting. Works are carried out also towards involving international and local sponsors. The number and capacity of hotels in Baku and Absheron intended for the accommodation of the sportsmen, official delegations, tourists and guests during the Games has been confirmed. No problem is expected in this field.


Young volunteers will be widely used during the Islamic Solidarity Games. Mister President, You mentioned that Azerbaijani youth, volunteers demonstrated high level of skills during the first European Games. All guests repeatedly talked about our youth’s professionalism and patriotism. Of course, active participation of volunteers in the organizational works of the Islamic Solidarity Games is planned. According to preliminary calculations, some 10 thousand young people will be involved in the Games.


A task force comprised of relevant entities will be established with a view to holding the Games on high level. At the moment, development of an extensive Actions Plan is in progress, covering all directions associated with the holding of the Games, which will set the duties of each entity. This Plan will be presented to You in a short span of time.


Mister President, in conclusion, I would like to, once more, thank You for the high confidence given to us. Taking this opportunity, I would like to congratulate You and the people of Azerbaijan on the upcoming Gurban Holiday. Thank You very much. 

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