Countering the financing of terrorism

UNOCT-UNCCT are committed to helping all interested Member States increase their national and regional capacities to suppress the financing of terrorism.

New avenues to address terrorist financing 

National obligations to counter terrorist financing are set out in the existing international framework. With the intensification of the terrorist threat over the recent years and the concurrent evolution of terrorist financing typologies, the UN Security Council has adopted additional resolutions, often under Chapter VII, to address new avenues of terrorist financing, including by targeting the nexus between terrorists and organized crime groups and tackling fundraising through kidnapping for ransom. In Resolution 2462 (2019), the Security Council expressed concern at the flow of funds to terrorists and the need to suppress all forms of terrorist financing.  

In order to be effective, efforts to counter the financing of terrorism need to rely more on financial intelligence sharing between countries and enhanced coordination between the public and private sector. In addition, public sector financial regulators and private sector regulated and semi-regulated entities, including banks, often carry information that could benefit the other if shared through better and timely channels. In order to be more effective, targeted financial sanctions and other Financial Action Task Force (FATF) mandatory measures need to be buttressed with risk assessment and typology identification, enhanced intelligence sharing and better cooperation between the public and private sectors. Full adherence to international human rights standards and due process issues is also required.  

The UNCCT Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Project therefore provides assistance to Member States beyond understanding asset freeze requirements, and places a renewed emphasis on making asset freezing effective through prioritization of counter-terrorist financing practices in accordance to assessed risks, integration of financial intelligence into counter-terrorist financing tactics, and promotion of cooperation between the public and private sectors, thereby benefiting Member States in their broader efforts to implement FATF’s other recommendations and strengthening their financial sectors.  

Project mandate 

The UN Security Council has addressed countering the financing of terrorism on various occasion. These include, among others, Resolution 2133 (2014) on kidnapping and hostage-taking by terrorists and Resolution 2178 (2014) on suppressing the flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs), financing and other support to terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, Resolution 2195 (2014) on preventing terrorists from benefiting from transnational organized crime, Resolution 2199 (2015) aiming to prevent terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria from benefiting from trade in oil, antiquities and hostages, and from receiving donations.  

In UN Security Council Resolution 2253 (2015), the Council expanded and strengthened its Al-Qaida sanctions framework to include a focus on ISIL, and outlined efforts to dismantle its funding and support channels. The evolution of the threat posed by ISIL is additionally reflected in Resolution 2331 (2016) which aims to disrupt terrorist funding derived from acts of sexual and gender-based violence, including when associated to trafficking in persons, Resolution 2347 (2017) on preventing and countering the illicit trade and trafficking in cultural property originating from a context of armed conflict, notably from terrorist groups, including by prohibiting cross-border trade in such illicit items. 

Security Council resolution 2462 (2019) 

United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy 

Project activities  

UNCCT organizes capacity-building workshops for interested Member States on a variety of topics to enhance the capacity of national authorities to improve their work on suppressing the financing of terrorism.  

UNCCT closely coordinates its work with CTED and UNODC in the delivery of capacity-building assistance on CFT.  

Project’s impact 

In 2018 and 2019, UNCCT efforts led to the adoption and implementation of a decree in Tunisia that allowed the country to designate individuals and entities connected to terrorism. In addition, UNCCT also helped develop the Counter-Financing of Terrorism Regional Operational Plan for the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), which was successfully adopted by ESAAMLG jurisdictions at the Ministerial level in September 2018, and helped the regional organizational meet a key FATF requirement.