**Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering**

At its headquarters in Paris, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced today that its mandate has been renewed for a record 8-year term.

Since its establishment in 1989, the FATF has been operating under a temporary life-span, with periodic decisions to continue based on specific action by member countries. The current mandate is set to expire in August 2004. The organization says that the record period of extension is in consideration of the widening of its remit (in 2001) to include terrorist financing, and to ensure stability and continuity. The representatives from FATF’s 33 members nevertheless recognise the need to ensure that activities concentrate on the requisite issues, and noted that continuous follow up of the work is essential – and that there could be a mid-term review during the period September 2004 to December 2012.

The Ministerial meeting in Paris today was held on the margins of an OECD Ministerial Council Meeting (see separate report).

The release issued at the conclusion of the meeting said members remain united in their commitment to combat terrorism and international crime, and the extended mandate is a sign of their confidence in the FATF as an important instrument in that fight. Members specifically called for the FATF to continue to mobilize the international community in an even deeper and more expansive effort to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The mandate (see link below) calls for a series of tasks under strategic and operational issues.