At special meeting, international community reflects on strategies to combat the financing of terrorism

UN Photo / Rick BajornasOver 60 Member States and 14 intergovernmental organizations participated in the special meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee on preventing and suppressing terrorist financing, held at UN headquarters in New York on 20 November.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and other key partners in combating terrorism financing, including a number of FATF Style Regional Bodies, were represented at the event. Together with national, regional and international experts, they discussed the importance of a global network, the FATF revised recommendations, regional and national experiences, and the way forward in countering the financing of terrorism.

“With the international community’s concerted efforts spanning over a decade, the use and abuse of the formal banking system is more difficult and more expensive for terrorists than ever before,” said the Chair of the Security Council Committee, Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri of India. “Despite the progress, terrorists continue to exploit advances in technology and have been able to find ways and means in raising and moving funds,” Ambassador Puri said.

One of the core mandates of the Committee is to monitor and facilitate the implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), which requires States to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism and freeze without delay any funds related to persons involved in acts of terrorism.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said at the opening session that “terrorists need funding not just to buy weapons and materials to make their bombs.” Funds are used to recruit and train terrorists, and to support their networks. “If they are prevented from getting funds, their capacity to carry out attacks can be severely curtailed,” Mr. Eliasson said.UN Photo / Rick Bajornas

FATF President Bjørn S. Aamo explained that the international body’s role is to assist States in the implementation of an effective framework against terrorist financing and money-laundering, following a holistic approach. This means the financial provisions of UN instruments are embedded in the 40 FATF Recommendations and human rights are respected. To be effective, the framework should “harm terrorists as much as protect civil liberties and human rights,” Mr. Aamo said.

As specified in UN legal instruments and Security Council resolutions, States must comply with all their obligations under international law when combating terrorism. Their responsibilities include abiding by international human rights law.

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This page was last updated on: 11-Mar-2013 12:09 PM EST