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 Western Hemisphere Finance Ministers Meeting: Action Plan on Combating the Financing of Terrorism


9/27/2002
FROM THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

We, the Finance Ministers of the Western Hemisphere countries, remain fully engaged in the global fight against the funding of terrorism and commit to reinvigorating our efforts on this issue. We endorse a comprehensive approach to preventing the funding of terrorism, including improved international cooperation and a greater focus on means of financing terrorism outside of the mainstream financial system.
Cut off Access for Terrorists to the International Financial System
  • We, the Ministers, call upon the countries of the Western Hemisphere, subject to their respective domestic institutional arrangements, to freeze the assets of terrorists and their supporters without delay, and prevent them from accessing the international financial system. Each country will continue to improve its laws freezing the assets of terrorists, to ensure that no funds escape its financial system. Each economy also commits to fully implementing current laws on freezing terrorist assets and to ensuring compliance and consistent reporting.
  • We call for enhanced cooperation concerning asset freezing on targets of regional interest. Western Hemisphere governments should cooperate to identify and freeze the assets of terrorists and terrorist supporters.
 
Implementation of International Agreements and Standards
  • We call upon each Western Hemisphere country to continue to implement as soon as possible the relevant United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions, particularly UNSCR 1373 and 1390, as well the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and to report to the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee on all progress made on these initiatives.
  • We commit to implement quickly the FATF’s Special Recommendations on terrorist financing and respond to the FATF Self-Assessment Questionnaire. We support the work of FATF in this area, in particular to the development of guidance notes on the implementation of the Special Eight Recommendations. We welcome efforts by OAS/CICAD, CFATF and GAFISUD to incorporate and implement the FATF 40 and Special Eight Recommendations.
  • We welcome the important recent decisions by the IMF and the World Bank to undertake comprehensive assessments of economies’ adherence to the FATF 40 + 8 recommendations on fighting money laundering and terrorist financing. We call on the IMF, World Bank, and UN to work co-operatively with the FATF in its identification of jurisdictions that require assessments and technical assistance to combat terrorist financing.
 
Oversight of Alternative Remittance Systems, Charities and Non-Profit Organizations
  • We recognize that alternative remittance systems provide a valuable service, but remain concerned that they not be misused by terrorists and their supporters. In this regard, we support the efforts to combat the financing of terrorism shown in the Abu Dhabi Declaration on hawala issued May 16, and support regulating and monitoring alternative remittance systems to ensure that terrorists and their followers do not abuse them.
  • We will seek to prevent the abuse of non-profit organizations and well-meaning donors from having their funds misused to support terrorists. We encourage FATF to develop best practices for preventing the abuse of charitable institutions by terrorists.
 
Law Enforcement Actions and Information Sharing
  • We agree that each Western Hemisphere government should commit to criminalizing the financing of terrorism, as called for under the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. This includes the willful provision and collection of funds, directly or indirectly, with the intention or knowledge of the intention to use those funds to carry out terrorist acts.
  • Each Western Hemisphere government should increase its efforts to investigate and prosecute money launderers and terrorist financiers. We will work cooperatively to improve our ability to detect and target bulk cash movements that facilitate money laundering and terrorist financing, and to utilize cross-border cash laws, and commit to enhanced coordination.
  • We agree that each Western Hemisphere government should report to each other the list of terrorists whose assets are subject to freezing, the amount of assets frozen, if any, and any other domestic actions taken against terrorists or their surrogates.
  • Each country should establish by October 2003, if it has not done so already, a financial intelligence unit (FIU) or its equivalent in accordance with Egmont Group standards and take steps to enhance information sharing with other FIUs.
 
Technical Assistance
  • We welcome FATF’s efforts to identify economies worldwide for follow-up assessment and technical assistance. We call on the IMF and the MDBs, in consultation with the United Nations, to provide such assistance, in coordination with regional FATF-style bodies and donor nations.
  • We call on regional international financial institutions, including the IDB, to become more involved in regional initiatives to combat terrorist financing and to provide technical assistance to improve economies’ legal abilities to prevent the funding of terrorism.
  • We commit to collaborate, where possible, in the provision of technical assistance to economies worldwide that need help in developing and implementing necessary policies, laws, regulations, and institutions to combat terrorist financing and money laundering.
 
Expanding Efforts
  • We fully support private sector initiatives such as the Wolfsberg Statement on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and endorse cooperation between financial institutions and governments. The fight against the financing of terrorism requires the active participation of both financial intermediaries and the public sector. We urge financial supervisors and regulators around the world to continue to ensure their financial sectors are not abused by terrorists.
  • We recognize that continued success in the fight against terrorist financing requires the close cooperation and commitment of the broad international community. We call upon regional and multilateral bodies, including OAS/CICAD, CFATF and GAFISUD, to endorse this Action Plan and commit their own members to improving their efforts to fight terrorist financing. We therefore encourage all countries worldwide to join us in implementing these measures.
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