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2019 OSCE High-level Regional Conference on Countering Terrorist Financing and Organized Crime

Category
Event
Venue
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Date(s)
-
Subject
Countering financing of terrorism

Description

The conference is organized by the TNTD/Action against Terrorism Unit, in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan. The conference provides the opportunity to bring together high-level representatives and senior experts/practitioners from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Mongolia and Afghanistan, as well as high-level officials and senior experts from other OSCE participating States and relevant international, regional and sub-regional organizations.

Summary

The following topics will be discussed during the conference:


Session I - Strengthening Legal Frameworks, Information Sharing and Inter-Agency Co-operation to Counter Terrorist Financing

During this session, discussions will focus on the implementation of relevant international documents, including FATF comprehensive standards. Speakers will introduce recent updates to national frameworks related inter alia to criminalizing the financing of terrorist travel and recruitment, even in the absence of a link to a specific terrorist act or legal tools targeting the financial disruption of terrorist networks, including by strengthening the use and effectiveness of asset freezing. This session will also explore how the OSCE can further support participating States and Partners for Co-operation to facilitate inter-agency co-operation to make better use of financial intelligence and strengthen the effectiveness of the operational chain. Speakers will also touch upon the challenges and practical considerations in the area of transfer of criminal proceedings and upon how investigations and judicial proceedings can be carried out in an effective and efficient manner in full respect of applicable international law, in particular human rights law. The session will take a broader look at how regional efforts can contribute to closing loops that allow terrorist organizations to raise and move funds.

Session II - Exploring Links between Terrorist Financing and Organized Crime

Speakers will explore links between terrorist financing and organized crime, bearing in mind that financing methods can vary from one terrorist organization to another. Sources of funding can include inter alia donations, abuse of legitimate businesses and charities, through misappropriation of charitable funds, but also resources from organized crime, such as forms of illegal trafficking or counterfeiting. A large source of income for criminal groups and terrorist groups is illicit drug trade. Terrorist groups can generate revenue that is difficult to track through the financial system or can rely on cash couriers to avoid leaving paper trails.

Understanding the nature and extent of the links between terrorist financing and organized crime and tracing these links can actually help expand the tools that OSCE participating States have at their disposal in order to respond to both organized crime and terrorist financing, making State responses to evolving threats more effective. This session should lead to a more accurate picture of the connections between terrorist financing and organized crime.

Session III - Addressing Challenges related to the Collection of Digital Evidence and to the Abuse of New Methods of Payment and Social Media

Focus will be placed on the importance of strengthening information sharing to trace, detect and dismantle illegal money transmitters and to tackle the risks associated with the use of cash, informal remittance systems, prepaid cards, mobile payments or new methods of payments, such as virtual assets. The discussions will also focus on the co-operation between governments and the Tech industry, including major Internet and social media platforms to counter terrorist financing online. Speakers will analyze how the international community can better anticipate terrorist financing risks associated with online collection of funds, such as anonymity, access to a wide range of potential sponsors and relative ease of electronic payment mechanisms. The importance of implementing the FATF standards in the context of innovative financial technologies, products and services will be emphasized.

Challenges related to the collection of electronic evidence will also be discussed, in connection with mutual legal assistance requirements with respect to investigations, prosecutions and judicial proceedings.

Session IV

Taking Stock of Multi-stakeholder Co-operation for the Financial Disruption of Terrorist Networks

This session will focus on the importance of strengthening co-operation among national authorities and financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses or professions to ensure they meet their obligations under the international norms and standards and domestic legislation related to countering terrorist financing. Speakers will emphasize the need for public-private partnerships and consultations with reporting entities and the need to involve them when developing indicators of suspicious transactions for the private sector. Discussions will also emphasize the need for analytical methods to detect suspicious transactions and funding sources in the area of terrorist financing. Speakers will also discuss recent trends in the financial flows related to terrorist networks. The role of capacity-building and training activities for government officials, the private sector and civil society will be addressed against this backdrop.