The Founding General Assembly of Islamic Conference Youth Forum was held in Baku, the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan, from 1 to 3 December 2004. During the 3-day conference 42 delegates, representing leading youth non-governmental organizations from more than 30 member countries to the OIC were discussing the prospects of joint activities and establishment of a permanently functioning umbrella organization. As an outcome of the deliberations held the Islamic Conference Youth Forum (ICYF) was established and its Statute was unanimously adopted.

The Secretary General-elect of the OIC H.E. Dr. Ikmaleddin Ihsanoglu, the President of the IDB H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Ali as well as number of OIC Member Governments sent their greeting messages to the delegates, emphasizing an importance of a new endeavor. High level officials representing the OIC Member States as well as such international bodies as Council of Europe and the IDB were at present in the work of the General Assembly.

The Forum became a result of almost 2-year preparation activities held by the Working Group comprised of 11 youth organizations from respective OIC Member States, within the framework of the Islamic Conference Youth Initiative. This Initiative was full-heartily supported by the OIC, which adopted a special resolution N 15/31-C “On the Islamic Conference Youth Initiative” at the 31st session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers. The resolution recognizes “the timeliness and importance of conducting such an Initiative”, and calls upon all Member States as well as specialized institutions of the OIC “to support the activities …aimed at the success of the ICYI”.

The Founding General Assembly elected governing bodies of the new organization: 9- member Board, President, Secretary General and 2 Vice-Presidents. Ali Sarikaya (Turkey) become a first President of the Forum, while Anas Al Falah (Kuwait) and Reda Mehigveni (Algeria), representing respectively Arab and African countries were elected Vice-Presidents. Elshad Iskandarov (Azerbaijan) was elected Secretary General to head the Secretariat of a new organization. Nedim Kaya (international NGO), Yasser Salimi (Iran), Rana Bilal Ahmad (Pakistan), Mohammed Al-Tilbani (Saudi Arabia), El-Yasa Osman El-Gasim (Sudan) were elected to fill the rest of the seats in the Board. According to a decision made by The General Assembly its permanent Head-Quarters will be chosen to be established in one of the OIC member countries upon conclusion of relevant negotiations with the Member Governments in 3-month period

As a result of discussions in 5 working groups, the delegates have also adopted 2-year Strategic Action Plan to put a frame for the Forum’s activities in the field of advocating youth interest, supporting sustainable development, promoting formal and non-formal education, strengthening moral values of young generation and engaging in the dialogue among cultures and civilizations. The General Assembly has also decided to establish a permanent dialogue with the OIC in order to establish partnership relations for promoting youth issues and bringing the common agenda to the international organizations and fora.

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