On 20 May 2009, Press Conference was conducted at ANAMA Office with the participation of Mr. Bruno Pouezat, UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Noura Hamladji, Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. Fargan Abbaszadeh, UNDP Communications Manager and Mr. Elnur Khalilov, UNDP Program Advisor. The conference was dedicated to signing of project document between ANAMA and UNDP to extend cooperation for another 3 years. The objective of the new phase of the joint project entitled "Further Strengthening and Expansion of Mine Action Capacity in Azerbaijan is to provide ANAMA with a further 3 years (2009-2011), in its formation of a fully sustainable national institution to be able to oversee all aspects of mine/UXO action programme. The main goals within the project: " Support to ANAMA activities within the State Program on Socio-Economical Development of the regions of Azerbaijan Republic (2009-2013); " Provide fund raising, networking and promotional support from UNDP as the Mine Action Trust Fund in the country; " Support the initiative for creating the International Mine Action Training Center based on ANAMA's current capacity. In his opening speech, Mr. Nazim Ismaylov welcomed the participants and thanked everybody for increased interest to the mine and UXO problem in Azerbaijan. He talked about the development phases of the Azerbaijan Mine Action Programme and achievements made up to date. Expressing UNDP's pride of the competence and the expertise that ANAMA's staff have gathered over the past 10 years since the creation of the agency, UNDP Resident Representative said his organization was "so proud of the people of ANAMA that we are now prepared to offer that to the world as a source of expertise, as a source of competences". The trust in ANAMA has been shared over the years by a large group of donors, he went on to say. Besides UNDP, US, EU, UK, Norway, Italy, Japan and others have provided financial and technical support for ANAMA. Cooperation between UNDP and ANAMA started in 1999 with the first phase of the Azerbaijan Mine Action Programme. The project aimed to create a national capacity able to survey, map and clear mine-affected areas, and to prepare for handling the mine/UXO problem in the occupied areas after their return to Azerbaijani control. The USD 6,600,000 project will also help ANAMA evolve into an International Centre for Mine Action. On numerous past occasions, ANAMA has already provided training assistance to neighbouring countries. ANAMA is now determined to formalize this training capacity by establishing a fully-funded International Mine Action Resource & Training Centre, complementary with other similar Centres (Nairobi, Cranfield, etc.) in imparting skills and knowledge and in sharing information among the world-wide mine action community. UNDP looks at the landmine problem from a development perspective. Thus, UNDP's overall goal is to eliminate the impact of mines/UXOs in the economy, health and environment of the population in the affected areas. Mine action is not about mine/UXO clearances per se, it is about allowing people to live in an environment that is safe and which brings about economic and social well-being. Clearing mines/UXOs from the ground increases access to valuable arable land, thereby reducing poverty among rural communities. Mine risk education increases knowledge of mine/UXO threats, thereby reducing accidents in mine-affected communities. Mine/UXO survivor's assistance provides sorely-needed medical and economic support, thereby facilitating their social integration and decreasing economic hardship.