On 8-9 January, Shiraz, as a host city, was held opening ceremony of the Shiraz – OIC Youth Capital 2017, an important international programme serving development and unity of youth of the OIC geography. Upcoming events of Shiraz-OIC Youth Capital, along with Putrajaya (Malaysia), presented to distinguished guests and youth Representatives of OIC Member States. The ceremony started with flag raising ceremony, ICYF-DC President H.E. Amb. Elshad Iskandarov, Vice President of Iran H.E. Shahindokht Molaverdi and Governor of Fars Province of Iran H.E. Seyyed Mohammad Ali Afshani had raised the flags of Shiraz – OIC Youth Capital 2017.

Official Inauguration Ceremony of the Shiraz – OIC Youth Capital 2017 international programme started with participation of the President of ICYF-DC H.E. Amb. Elshad Iskandarov, the Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) H.E. Shahindokht Molaverdi, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports of Iran H.E. Dr. Masoud Soltanifar, Governor of Fars Province of Iran H.E. Seyyed Mohammad Ali Afshani, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran H.E. Hassan Ghashgavi and other high-level officials from Iran at Shiraz University Conference Hall. ICYF-DC President H.E. Amb. Elshad Iskandarov delivered his opening address to the official Inauguration Ceremony and thanked the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the authorities of Shiraz for hosting the Shiraz – OIC Youth Capital 2017 international programme and praised the artistic culture and intellectual heritage of the city of Shiraz.,

In his speech, ICYF-DC President Amb. Elshad Iskandarov announced the main theme of the Shiraz – OIC Youth Capital 2017 as “Empowering youth creativity for unity and moderation of Ummah” and stressed the importance of countering inter-sectarian schisms of the Islamic World. Amb. Iskandarov drawed attention to the models of inter-mazahib unity and brotherhood underlying the “2017 – Year of Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan” decreed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and also stressed: “while attacking Muslims Islamophobia does not discriminate between Shia and Sunni. If only this reason should be enough for the leaders of Muslim communities put an end to inter-sectarian confrontation” in his opening address to the official Inauguration Ceremony of the Shiraz – OIC Youth Capital 2017.

ICYF-DC President H.E. Amb. Elshad Iskandarov presented the special plaque of “Shiraz – OIC Youth Capital 2017” to the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports of Iran H.E. Dr. Masoud Soltanifar and the Governor of Fars Province of Iran H.E. Seyyed Mohammad Ali Afshani. The symbolic Key for the city of Shiraz was presented to the youth of the OIC

At the end of official inauguration ceremony the Shiraz – OIC Youth Capital 2017, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports of Iran, the ICYF-DC President and the Governor of Fars Province of Iran co-signed the Protocol of Cooperation on Shiraz – OIC Youth Capital 2017 which envisages the exact schedules and formats of the activities to be held throughout a year in Shiraz under the OIC Youth Capital international programme.