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Terrorism, its financing continue to constitute most serious threats to global peace: NMFT conference

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“Actions to counter terrorism and its financing should be collective and unified, without exceptions on any ground and there should be a zero-tolerance approach to terrorism”

New Delhi: A two-day conference on counter-terrorism financing on Saturday affirmed that terrorism and its financing, in all forms and manifestations, continue to constitute one of the most serious threats to global peace and security and are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations.

In a statement issued after the conclusion of the 3rd ‘No Money For Terror’ ministerial conference on counter-terrorism financing, the chair announced 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.

During the deliberations, India has 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.

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. Shortly, India will circulate a discussion paper to all participants for their valuable comments, the statement said.

The chair 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 implementation of these resolutions by UN member states, the statement said.

The conference affirmed commitment to FATF’s AML/CFT standards and domestic and international law and encouraged the consistent work of FATF in promoting the implementation of these standards and related guidelines.

It 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.

The chair emphasised 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, social and economic development. It is desirable that states enhance their efforts to proactively counter these threats, even before they emerge.

As many as 93 participating countries and multilateral organisations attended the conference.

The chair called on states to fulfill their obligations enshrined in relevant international conventions and protocols on counter terrorism and its financing, to which they are a party.

It 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.

The conference 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.

The 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 emphasised 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, banking remittances, cards, virtual assets, use of DarkNet, barter systems, trade-based transfers, commercial entities, non-profit organisations, DNFBPs’, new financial instruments and unmanned aerial systems used to transport material, explosives, narcotics, weapons or ammunition.

States should design preventive measures, legislation and forward-looking technological solutions to counter these threats, it said.

The meet welcomed the offer of Germany to host NMFT in 2024 or 2025, while we are in the process of finalising the host for 2023 Conference.

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