Countering the Financing of Terrorism is a key priority for France
“Challenges Identifying, Monitoring and Countering the Financing of Terrorist Groups and Individuals” - Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 26 June 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,
It is a great pleasure and privilege for my team and for me to be here with you this afternoon to discuss how to better counter the financing of terrorism, which is, as you know, a key priority for France. I would like to thank UNODC and you personally, cher Yuri Fedotov, for your commitment and leadership on this issue in particular, as well as our partners and co-organizers, the missions of Peru and Nigeria. It is a privilege to have so many friends and luminaries in the audience. And I’m very glad that Michèle Coninsx, the executive director of CTED can also be with us this afternoon, as well as dear friends like Emmanuel Roux, the representative here of INTERPOL, and many others - I should mention each and every one of you by name.
I want to be brief, let me share with you two thoughts:
1/- Firstly, I wanted to say a few words on the conference “No Money for Terror” held in Paris on 25 and 26 April, which more than 70 States attended along with 15 international and regional organizations. Several round tables were held for two days, and experts and Ministers discussed the means to concretly strengthen the efficiency of our fight against the financing of individuals and entities associated with Daesh and Al-Qaeda.
States and organizations present during the conference agreed on a series of observations and measures to be taken, as reflected in the declaration adopted on 26 June, the “Paris agenda”.
Let me briefly mention five of these measures, among many others of course:
Reinforce the domestic legal and operational frameworks to collect, analyze and share information by national authorities, in close partnership with the financial sector.
Prevent the use of legitimate financial instruments by terrorists by fighting the anonymity of financial transactions – this is a key point –, notably through increased vigilance on informal cash exchanges and private donations.
Anticipate and address the risk of new financial instruments being used by terrorists, recognizing that innovative financial technologies, products and services may offer significant economic opportunities but also present a risk of being misused, including for terrorist financing.
Increase the support to vulnerable States as well as the pressure on States which are not implementing their obligations.
Strengthen the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and its regional style bodies, by increasing its visibility and giving the Task Force the means to carry out its mandate.
Again, these measures are just a few examples among many others. Hard copies of the declaration are available in the room and please feel free to reach out to me or my team should you have any questions about it. In terms of follow-up, it is our wish – and more importantly the wish of President Macron himself - that this mobilization conference creates truly a new momentum and that the “Coalition of Paris” as we name it lives on through the engagement of all stakeholders to implement the road map agreed in Paris in every relevant fora. Australia has agreed to organize a conference in 2019 to take stock of the progress achieved and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their strong commitment to the fight against the financing of Daesh and Al-Qaeda.
2/- Secondly, I also wanted to share a few thoughts on how we think the UN can continue to help Member States strengthen their efforts and engagement to counter the financing of terrorism.
First, by creating norms and international obligations, the Security Council has a unique role to play in strengthening the international legal framework against the financing of terrorism. Resolution 1373, adopted in 2001, was a landmark resolution in this regard, calling on all States to criminalize the financing of terrorism. Since then, and especially since 2014, several other important resolutions, such as 2199 and 2368, were adopted to reiterate the need to adopt robust measures to counter the financing of terrorism. I would like to recall in this regard the importance of ratification and implementation of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, as well as all relevant Security Council resolutions and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
Second, the use of sanctions under the 1267 regime, which targets individuals and entities associated with Daesh and Al-Qaeda, is another effective means to prevent and counter the financing of these groups. In this regard, effective implementation of asset freezing mechanisms is essential. We encourage all States to put forward designations of individuals and entities that are involved in the financing of terrorist activities on the 1267 list.
Third, France strongly believes that the UN also have a unique power to mobilize the entire spectrum of key stakeholders in the fight against the financing of terrorism: States of course, but also international and regional organizations, the financial sector, civil society, to name just a few. That is why, together with Australia, we intend to organize a high level event in the margins of the upcoming General Assembly, dedicated to countering the financing of terrorism and we will continue to use this power of mobilization that the UN offers.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me stop here in order to leave time to my fellow panelists and hopefully for an interactive dialogue. My warmest thanks again to all of you for taking the time to participate in this event, and more importantly for your strong commitment to this common fight. Un grand merci à tous.