The Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) will hold its ‘3rd Regional Stakeholders’ Forum on Emerging AML/CFT Issues and the Challenges they Pose for GIABA Member States’ in Saly, Senegal, from 15th to 17th December 2021.
The meeting seeks to: provide stakeholders with a better understanding of the risks associated with the phenomena of money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF) in GIABA’s jurisdiction; facilitate diligent and common ownership of implementation of the international standards, particularly the revised 40 Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF); provide a platform for exchange on the current challenges, particularly those related to the quality and consistency of Member States’ Mutual Evaluation Reports and Follow-Up Reports, the poor performance of member countries in AML/CFTP, the low level of expertise of domestic AML/CFTP stakeholders, the inadequacy of Member States’ political commitment, the placement of several countries in the region under the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) process, and the potential role of stakeholders in assisting the GIABA Community to make significant progress; and, finally, strengthen cooperation between ECOWAS Institutions and Agencies in the fight against money laundering, terrorism financing and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
It should be noted that in February 2012, FATF adopted the revised international AML/CFTP standards. These standards incorporate, for the first time, measures to fight against the financing of weapons of mass destruction. They require countries, among other things, to implement targeted financial sanctions to be compliant with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on the prevention, repression and disruption of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and its financing. Similarly, in February 2013, FATF adopted a new Methodology for the evaluation of technical compliance with the FATF Recommendations and the effectiveness of countries’ AML/CFT systems. The methodology defines how FATF will determine whether a country is adequately compliant with the FATF 2012 standards and whether the country’s AML/CFT regime is effectively functional.
GIABA, on its part, acceded fully to the FATF Revised standards during its 17th Technical Commission/Plenary and 11th Ministerial Committee Meetings, held in Abidjan in May 2012. It also pledged to ensure the effective implementation of the revised standards in member states and assess the degree of compliance through the mutual evaluation process.
This Forum, designed to be a vector for mobilisation and advocacy, is open to all stakeholders in ECOWAS Member States directly involved in Community issues, namely Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), ECOWAS National Offices, ECOWAS Court of Justice, West African Health Organization (WAHO), ECOWAS Ambassadors accredited to Senegal, as well as technical and financial partners.