FATF ministers agree on counter-terrorist financing strategy

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ministers from 37 member countries of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) have agreed on a common strategy to stop the illicit financial flows that fuel crime, terrorism and corruption, a statement said. published on Friday.

Ministers met in Washington on Thursday at the World Bank Group’s Spring Meetings and agreed on the strategy known as the April 21 FATF Ministerial Statement.

The statement reaffirmed the FATF’s role as a global standard-setter for the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The meeting also reaffirmed the status of the FATF as a permanent body and decided to hold the ministerial meeting every two years, starting in 2022, to define the strategic direction of the FATF for the next biennium.

The joint statement underlined the ministers’ commitment to tackle all sources, techniques and channels of money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.

“We will continue to ensure that jurisdictions (countries) adequately implement the FATF standards and encourage actions to protect the international financial system,” the ministers said. This would oblige member and non-member countries to fill their gaps.

Pakistan is one of the countries the FATF has put on its so-called gray list and is working closely with Islamabad to ensure the country overcomes its shortcomings.

In a recent statement, the FATF noted that Pakistan has completed 26 out of 27 action measures of its 2018 action plan to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The remaining point requires Pakistan to demonstrate that its investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups.

The joint statement reaffirmed that the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine goes against the fundamental principles of the FATF and threatens the integrity, safety and security of the international financial system.

Posted in Dawn, April 23, 2022

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