Countering the Financing of Terrorism

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The CTITF Working Group on Countering the Financing of Terrorism brings together relevant United Nations entities and international organizations to examine the various steps taken, at the national, regional and international levels, to counter the financing of terrorism in all its manifestations and carry out activities to further the implementation and effective application of relevant international standards, including the International Convention  for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.

Mandate

United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy:

Section II, paragraph 10: “To encourage States to implement the comprehensive international standards embodied in the Forty Recommendations on Money-Laundering and Nine Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing of the Financial Action Task Force, recognizing that States may require assistance in implementing them;”

Section III, paragraph 8: “To encourage the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Criminal Police Organization to enhance cooperation with States to help them to comply fully with international norms and obligations to combat money-laundering and the financing of terrorism.”

Status

The activities of the Working Group incorporate the following elements: enhancing coordination and cooperation between CTITF Working Group entities on the topic of suppressing the financing of terrorism; technical assistance and capacity building activities, including their coordination; sharing relevant information on other on-going programming related to suppressing the financing of terrorism; organization of relevant workshops and conferences; and development of best practices and guidelines.

From February 2007 to December 2008, the Working Group conducted a series of roundtable meetings with stakeholders (banking, regulatory, national security intelligence, financial intelligence, law enforcement, and criminal justice experts) from various regions. The meetings served as part of its stock-taking exercise on the implementation of international standards for combating the financing of terrorism.

The findings from the research and analysis as well as the roundtable discussions were compiled in a report which identifies methods of terrorist financing, measures taken to mitigate it, challenges to these measures, new approaches to the issue and forward-looking recommendations. Following a multi-disciplinary expert review of its findings and recommendations, the Working Group completed its Report in October 2009. The report contains 36 findings and 45 recommendations that are intended to help Member States increase the effectiveness of efforts to combat the financing of terrorism. Five areas were covered: (a) the criminalization of terrorist financing; (b) the enhancement of domestic and international cooperation; (c) value transfer systems; (d) non-profit organizations; and (e) the freezing of assets.

Based on the report’s findings and recommendations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prepared an Action Plan containing proposals for implementation of the recommendations for consideration by the members of the Working Group. Most of the entities participating in the Working Group have integrated elements of the recommendations into their own work programmes. Going forward, the areas identified for collective action by the Working Group include issues of cash couriers; terrorist financing and non-profit organizations (NPOs); and the role of charitable organizations.

In 2013, the Working Group launched a global capacity-building project for training officials of interested countries on terrorist designations and asset freezing. Under the project, training modules have been prepared for relevant regulatory officials, financial intelligence units and other relevant bodies on a variety of topics relevant to the process of designating terrorist organizations and freezing their assets. The project is now in delivery phase.

Entities