In a press release issued from its Paris headquarters this morning, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) confirmed that next week it will hold its final plenary meeting under the German Presidency in Berlin. The plenary is scheduled for June 18-20.

The adoption of the revised Forty Recommendations against money laundering – the world wide acclaimed international standards in this area – is the primary agenda item. The Recommendations will be fundamentally readjusted for the second time since the beginning of FATF’s work in 1989, and for the first time consistent due diligence obligations will be established, in financial as well as in non-financial sectors.

The **Caribbean Financial Action Task Force**, of which The Bahamas is a member, has been represented on the Working Group established by the FATF to review the 40 Recommendations by officials from the Central Bank of The Bahamas.

Post 9/11/01, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) introduced 8 Special Recommendations which, when combined with its Forty Recommendations on money laundering, set out the basic framework to detect, prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism and terrorist acts. FATF has indicated that it will continue to strive for full compliance of these Recommendations, both with its own membership and globally.

The FATF also plans to issue its fourteenth Annual Report next week in Berlin. The report will outline the main success of FATF under the German presidency. Included will be:

– FATF’s anti-terrorist financing activities;

– its findings on the non-cooperative countries and territories (NCCTs) in the international fight against money laundering; and

– the enlargement of the co-operation between FATF and the International Financial Institutions (i.e. IMF and World Bank).

It is anticipated that the Annual Report also will contain summaries of the evaluations of the anti-money laundering systems of the Russian Federation and South Africa, which will be the basis for the decision of FATF to be taken in the Plenary meeting on whether to expand its membership to these countries.

The FATF Secretariat has announced that the Annual Report – as well as the outcome of the Plenary – will be presented at a news conference on Friday, 20 June 2003. Mr. Jochen Sanio, FATF President, Mr. Claes Norgren (Sweden), future FATF President and Mr. Patrick Moulette, FATF Executive Secretary, will discuss the highlights of the report.