**FATF Leads International Efforts to Combat Terrorist Financing**

On the eve of the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) today in Paris issued a release on its international efforts to combat terrorist financing.

According to new FATF President Claes Norgren, two years after the events of 11th September in the United States, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is continuing to lead global efforts to detect, prevent and dry up the flow of funds to terrorists. *”Terrorism and its financing pose serious threats to national, regional and international stability and economic growth. Countering this threat requires a swift and coordinated approach,”* he said.

Most recently, the FATF is devising a robust mechanism to freeze and confiscate the assets of terrorists. This, it said, is to assist countries in implementing effective measures to combat the financing of terrorism.

The mechanism – an interpretative note to the third of the Eight Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing – will guide countries as they adopt and implement measures that will enable authorities to seize and confiscate assets that are linked to the financing of terrorism. According to today’s release, in conjunction with the FATF’s new best-practice guidance relating to informal money transfer systems, wire transfer requirements and non-profit organisations, the interpretative note will provide a comprehensive and consistent framework of measures for combating terrorist financing.

The FATF also is taking steps to ensure that comprehensive measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing are implemented worldwide. A joint FATF-IMF-World Bank initiative is currently underway to assess compliance by countries across the globe with FATF’s anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing standards. In a separate initiative, the FATF will be teaming with the United Nations and the donor community to ensure that terrorist financing weaknesses in national financial systems are identified so that the technical assistance necessary to protect the integrity of all financial systems can be provided.

The next meeting of the FATF is scheduled to be held in Stockholm, September 29 – to October 3, 2003. Anti-money laundering and terrorist financing experts from the 33 FATF members will attend, in addition to representatives from a wide range of observer organisations. This meeting will represent the next step in FATF’s ongoing work to foster the development and implementation of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing systems.

The FATF is an independent international body whose Secretariat is housed at the OECD. The thirty-one member countries and governments of the FATF are: Argentina; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Brazil; Canada; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hong Kong, China; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Luxembourg; Mexico; the Kingdom of the Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Portugal; the Russian Federation; Singapore; South Africa; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; United Kingdom and the United States. Two international organisations are also members of the FATF: the European Commission and the Gulf Co-operation Council.