By Gary Anderson

Baku 2015 chief executive and Azerbaijan Minister for Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov spoke at the United Nations General Assembly ©Baku 2015Baku 2015 chief executive Azad Rahimov has promised that the European Games will be delivered to the highest level during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sport, was speaking to delegates on the theme of Sport for Development and Peace in New York City where he also praised the leadership of First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva in her role as chair of Baku 2015. 

Baku was confirmed as the host city at the European Olympic Committees General Assembly in December 2012.

"Azerbaijan is becoming well positioned as a sporting nation," said Rahimov told delegates.

"Our country has gained significant experience in hosting major events.

"Baku 2015 will take place over 17 days of competition, when more than 6,000 athletes from Europe will compete in 20 sports, in the spirit of peace, fair play, friendship and unity.

"While having had little more than two years to prepare for the European Games, our country is determined to deliver these pioneering Games at the highest level.

Baku had bid unsuccessfully for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, failing to make the shortlist on each occasion.

Baku 2015 chief executive Azad Rahimov has promised the facilities being built for the European Games will leave a lasting legacy for Azerbaijan's young population  ©AFP/Getty ImagesBaku 2015 chief executive Azad Rahimov has promised the facilities being built for the European Games will leave a lasting legacy for Azerbaijan's young population
©AFP/Getty Images

But, despite having a relatively short time to prepare for the European Games, Rahimov insisted that the infrastructure and facilities will be in place in time for the event due to take place from June 12 to 28 next year.

He also highlighted the important role that the Games will play in leaving a lasting legacy for sport in the country.

"Our nation has a large proportion of youth, with the median age of population of just 30.1 years," Rahimov said.

"Indeed, 40 per cent of our population is less than 24-years-old.

"With such a statistic we feel a sense of duty to provide proper sporting infrastructure and purpose for our people.

"In fact, in the last 10 years alone, we have constructed more than 50 world-class facilities throughout the entire country.

"This sporting infrastructure provides access to sporting facilities to all our people, at absolutely no cost to the individual."

Following his address to the General Assembly, Rahimov hosted a gala lunch for delegates while he also held a meeting with Sam Kutesa, President of the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations.

The two men discussed the importance of the First Global Forum on Youth Policies, scheduled to take place in Baku next week from October 28 to 30.

For more information on the Global Forum on Youth Policies, taking place at the Baku Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre, click here.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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