The two-day ‘No Money For Terror’ (NMFT) Ministerial Conference concluded on Saturday with 93 participating countries and multilateral organisations expressing their commitment to strengthening international cooperation to address challenges in combating terrorism financing. The conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing built on the spirit embodied by the first and second NMFT Conferences in 2018 (France) and 2019 (Australia) and discussed global trends in terrorism and terror financing, , a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) statement said.
Besides, the use of official and unofficial channels in the financing of terrorism, the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorism financing was among the subject of discussion. The Chair’s statement at the end of the 3rd NMFT Conference resolved to encourage the holding ‘No Money For Terror’ conference on an annual basis, with the establishment of mechanisms to share information and best practices between states.
The participants discussed and reinforced their commitment to the key themes of the conference in the spirit of international cooperation, the statement said. The statement recognised the leading role played by UN Security Council Resolutions in countering the threat from terrorism and its financing, through implementing sanctions against global terrorist entities, as well as assessing the implementation of these Resolutions by UN member states.
It also affirmed commitment to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) Anti Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism standards and domestic and international law and encouraged the consistent work of FATF in promoting the implementation of these standards and related guidelines. The chair also affirmed that terrorism and its financing, in all forms and manifestations, continues to constitute one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism and its financing are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed, and called for listings and de-listings under these sanction regimes to be done in an objective manner, based on evidence and free from political considerations and duality of standards.
It reaffirmed that the actions to counter terrorism and its financing should be collective and unified, without exceptions on any ground and recommitted to a zero-tolerance approach to terrorism. It emphasized that the threat of terrorism and its financing is continuing, affecting a greater number of states across most regions, which contributes to undermining affected states, specifically their security, stability, governance, and social and economic development. It is desirable that states enhance their efforts to proactively counter these threats, even before they emerge.
The statement called on states to fulfil their obligations enshrined in relevant international conventions and protocols on counter-terrorism and its financing, to which they are a party. It further called for expeditious finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts and to refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, including by preventing recruitment by terrorist groups, consistent with international law and urged for a zero-tolerance approach to terrorism by all States.
It also underlined that opportunity for terrorist entities to access safe havens continues to be a significant concern and that all states must cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism in order to identify safe havens and deny access to terrorist entities. States should endeavour to bring to justice, in accordance with domestic and international law, any person who supports, facilitates, provides safe haven, participates or attempts to participate in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorist acts. It emphasized that states should consider and assess terror financing risks associated with specific products and channels used for financial transactions, including, but not limited to hawala, cash, Money or Value Transfer Services, banking remittances, cards, virtual assets, use of DarkNet, barter systems, trade-based transfers, commercial entities, non-profit organisations, Designated Non-Financing Businesses and Professions, new financial instruments and unmanned aerial systems used to transport material, explosives, narcotics, weapons or ammunition.
It was also stressed that the states should design preventive measures, legislation and forward-looking technological solutions to counter these threats. The chair also stressed that states should consider and assess risks related to the financing of radicalisation, an essential attribute of terrorism, and affirm to take measures to counter such radicalisation, in consonance with domestic and international law.
It reiterated the call to states to enhance the traceability and transparency of financial transactions, consistent with domestic and international law. The chair laid emphasized the need for states to cooperate actively with wide range of civil society from all regions of the world and the private sector, to prevent and counter the use of emerging technologies for acts of terrorism, including, but not limited to financial, communication, information, biological, chemical and nuclear technologies, recruitment and incitement to commit terrorist acts, as well as the financing, planning and preparation of acts of terrorism.
It expressed deep concern that terrorism, in various regions of the world, is notably aided by terrorists’ adaptation to, and the use of new and emerging technologies, for terrorist purposes, while recognizing that innovations in technology may offer significant counter-terrorism opportunities, and in this regard welcomed the adoption of “Delhi Declaration on Countering the Use of New and Emerging Technologies for Terrorist Purposes” by the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) on October 29, 2022, adopted in New Delhi. The chair encouraged competent national authorities, in particular, financial intelligence units and intelligence services, to continue to establish effective partnerships with the private sector, including financial institutions, the financial technology industry and internet and social media companies, with regard to the evolution of trends, sources and methods of the financing of terrorism.
It underscored the importance of a Whole-of-Government and Whole-of society approach, whereby cooperation in countering terrorism and its financing between all relevant stakeholders, including the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary, civil society and the private sector, is ensured. During the deliberations, India sensed the need for permanency of this unique initiative of NMFT, in order to sustain the continued global focus on countering the financing of terrorism. The time is ripe for a permanent Secretariat to be established. In order to take this thought forward, India offers to establish a Permanent Secretariat in the country, said the statement.
“Shortly, India will circulate a discussion paper to all participants for their valuable comments. Also, we welcome the offer of Germany to host NMFT in 2024 or 2025, while we are in the process of finalising the host for the 2023 Conference,” it said. (ANI)
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