ISLAMIC STATE ASSOCIATES SHOULD BE SANCTIONED, UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO DECLARE - SOURCE
Later this month finance ministers from UN Security Council countries will attend a summit in New York where member states are expected to adopt a resolution aimed at choking off the flow of money to Islamic State, including by clarifying that countries should sanction parties linked to the terror group, a U.S. Treasury Department official said.
"A key goal of this resolution is to address some of the global counter-terrorist financing challenges associated with information sharing and adequate criminalization of terrorist financing," said the Treasury official, who asked not to be named when revealing the anticipated elements of the resolution to Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence.
The new resolution will "play an important role in further focusing" the 16-year-old UN Security Council 1267/1989 sanctions regime originally established to combat al Qaeda "on the evolving terrorist threat posed by ISIL," the official said, using an alternative name for Islamic State preferred by U.S. authorities.
"It will also include elements to emphasize the degree to which this sanctions regime now focuses on the ISIL threat, including clarifying designation criteria emphasizing association with ISIL as grounds for imposing targeted sanctions," the official said.
The resolution is also expected to address the group's reliance on trafficking of oil, gas and cultural artifacts, and kidnapping for ransom, as well as financiers who facilitate the travel of foreign terrorist fighters to areas of Iraq and Syria controlled by the group. Those measures would echo elements of a Russian-drafted resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-nation council in February, a document whose mandates some say were not universally implemented.
"Cutting ISIL off from the international financial system and disrupting its financing are critical to effectively combating this violent terrorist group. A united international front is vital to achieve that goal, and this meeting marks an important step in coordinating our efforts," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who will chair the December 17 summit, said in a media release last week.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power added the United States is "focused on using every tool in the toolbox to defeat ISIL."
That Treasury statement did not outline the expected contents of the resolution revealed in this article,
Security Council Summit of Finance Ministers on Countering the Financing of Terrorism, December 17, 2015
Last month, FATF produced a report for G20 leaders that outlined countries' failures to implement FATF recommendations for combating terror finance, including the fact a handful of nations have not yet made such activity a crime and many that have done so cannot tout convictions.
And FATF is not finished for the year. The Paris-based body announced Tuesday it plans to hold a three-day "special meeting" beginning on December 12 "to decide on further action that the global community needs to take to choke off terrorist financing." A spokeswoman for the body said its meeting was not related to the Security Council summit.
- Almost all jurisdictions - particularly the systemically important jurisdictions - have criminalised terrorist financing as a distinct offence. Most jurisdictions criminalise providing funds to support a terrorist act, or to support a terrorist organisation, even for a purpose unrelated to committing a terrorist act, and treat such activity as a serious crime.
- But relatively few jurisdictions have obtained convictions for terrorist financing, and many jurisdictions do not yet criminalise financing an individual terrorist for a purpose unrelated to committing a terrorist act.
- Twenty-seven jurisdictions have expanded their laws to combat foreign terrorist fighters, by criminalising the financing of travel for the purposes of terrorism or terrorist training. Some jurisdictions already had appropriate laws to combat foreign terrorist fighters. But most jurisdictions have yet to take action in this area.
- Most jurisdictions have legal instruments to implement targeted financial sanctions, whether imposed by the UN, requested by another country, or proposed by the country’s own motion. However, a majority of jurisdictions remain too slow in implementing UN targeted financial sanctions, and there are gaps in many jurisdictions’ legal frameworks.
- Most jurisdictions never make practical use of targeted financial sanctions. Even though there are adequate legal powers, these are not activated in practice, either in relation to UN sanctions or national sanctions. Two-thirds of jurisdictions have never taken any practical actions related to targeted financial sanctions.
- The FATF is taking action to deal with these problems. This includes: specific followup to ensure individual jurisdictions address the problems identified; measures to address systemic weaknesses such as those identified for foreign requests for freezing action; reviewing the international standards on terrorist financing; reinforcing the research programme on the risks, trends, and methods of terrorist financing; and building closer links with operational experts and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.
- The G20 can support this programme by: leading by example, helping low capacity jurisdictions implement essential counter terrorist financing measures, and continuing to support the FATF in its ongoing work.