Wed 07-06-2023 15:19 PM
MANAMA, 7th June, 2023 (WAM) — The ninth meeting of the Operational Experts Forum on Terrorist Financing (OFTF) convened on the sidelines of the 36th plenary meeting of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), which was held in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain.
The meeting was attended by delegations from MENA countries, as well as international observers from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the FATF-style regional body the Eurasian Group (EAG), the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC Secretariat), the United Nations Security Council 1267 Committee, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and observers from other countries.
Dr. Ahmed Al Dhanhani, President of the OFTF, commended the experiences and knowledge shared by participants at the Forum, adding, “I hope that we shed light on more of these experiences and lessons learned during the upcoming meetings of the OFTF for the purposes of MENAFATF members achieving compliance within best practices. This builds and enhances capacities of all participating countries”.
The meeting discussed key topics that reflect information and experiences on how to effectively counter terrorism financing activities, best practices in promoting effective cooperation and mechanisms for enhancing national and international cooperation, as well as the exchange of information and lessons learned from emerging risks and patterns used in Terrorist Financing (TF).
The agenda of the forum reviewed the stages of the regional money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risk assessment project, and Dr. Al Dhanhani underscored the importance of the project and the need for cooperation for its completion, as set out in the approved action plan.
The valuable input of a number of MENAFATF member States and observers was reviewed, especially on the countries’ compliance in criminalising terrorist financing, in addition to the latest updates from the UN Monitoring Team in the international arena related to violations of terrorist organisations. Relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the use of virtual currencies for the purposes of financing terrorism and measures taken to counter access to funds and other assets to terrorist groups, were also among the other issues discussed.
Khoder Nashar/ Muhammad Aamir