By Duncan Mackay at the JW Marriott Hotel Absheron in Baku

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev opened the 77th AIPS Congress in Baku ©AIPSApril 28 - Baku 2015 today begun to lay out its plans for next year's inaugural European Games as it hosted the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) 77th Annual Congress, which opened here today. 

More than 260 journalists and media executives have gathered for the event, part of AIPS' 90th anniversary celebrations. 

Baku 2015 organisers plan to use the event to update delegates on preparations for the European Games.

"It is a great honour for Baku to host such a prestigious international conference and we are proud to be sponsors of the event," said Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sports and chief executive of Baku 2015. 

"As we continue to approach the one year to go landmark for the Baku 2015 European Games, we look forward to showing delegates around the venues and the progress that we have made.

"The Congress is also an opportunity for us to showcase Baku to our guests as a modern and vibrant European city and I am looking forward to welcoming guests to our country."

The Congress was officially opened by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.

"It is a pleasure for us to have so many media representatives, here in our country, we hope you have the possibility during this days of work to get to know more about our capital city Baku, our culture and our country's history," he told delegates.

"We have been an independent nation for only 22 years, and have already achieved so much in this time."

The AIPS Congress is an opportunity for Baku 2015 to showcase next year's European Games ©ITGThe AIPS Congress is an opportunity for Baku 2015 to showcase next year's European Games ©ITG

The event started with a video message from International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

"AIPS has been instrumental in shaping the perception of the Olympic Games," he said.

"You are an important partner."

Gianni Merlo, President of AIPS, said: "This year's Congress will be a memorable one for all involved as we proudly celebrate our 90th anniversary.

"Coming together in Baku will give us the opportunity to mark the occasion and also to discuss the future of our profession in a new location that is set to become a focal point for global sport over the next 12 months."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
April 2014: Baku to offer free internet access to media and public at first European Games