Qatar has renewed its commitment to comply with international obligations to curb the financing of terrorism, and has strengthened its co-operation with international and regional partners by signing regional and bilateral agreements, stressing its active participation in counter-terrorism arrangements.
This came in a statement delivered by Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, HE ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani at the UN Security Council's special meeting on "Preventing and combating terrorism."
HE Sheikha Alya said that at the national level, Qatar has continued to strengthen the legislative framework to combat terrorism and its financing and to update laws and regulations, including laws that have become models in the Middle East region, pointing in this regard to the creation of Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities (RACA) and the development of a strategy to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
She added the relevant authorities in the country, and the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Committee in particular, continue to make intensive efforts and draw on international advisory expertise to develop national capacities, develop and implement strategies, harness technology and control the various risks of illegal financing.
At the international level, Qatar has strengthened its co-operation with international and regional partners, and has signed regional and bilateral agreements, she said, pointing to the initiative of signing a memorandum of understanding in the region with the United States to combat terrorism financing in 2017, the first of its kind in the region, and which has been put into implementation to reflect the commitment of Qatar on working together, exchanging experiences and information and developing institutions among countries.
Ambassador Alya added that Qatar was actively involved in the arrangements to combat the financing of terrorism, including the Financial Action Task Force, the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force and the Counter-Terrorism Financing Centre, in addition to co-operation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the competent UN bodies.
She also noted the signing of a Contribution Agreement between the government of Qatar and the United Nations, represented by the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), to support strategic initiatives to address the terrorism epidemic, in Doha last December by Under-Secretary-General and Head of the UNOCT Vladimir Voronkov, and in the presence of the UN Secretary-General.
Under this agreement, Qatar will be at the forefront of countries contributing to the core budget of the Office, with annual support of US$15mn, to support its strategic initiatives and programmes, she pointed out.
Within the framework of the international meetings hosted by Qatar, the ambassador said several workshops on money laundering, financing of terrorism and financial crimes related to the charitable sector were held in cooperation with international expertise from the public and private sectors.
In this context, she referred to the induction meeting of the British-Qatari joint workshop on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, a workshop for concerned parties, charities, private charitable foundations, the compliance workshop and financial crimes for charitable associations and institutions, in co-operation with one of the international consulting companies specialised in this field to use the World Check system for charities and private charitable organisations, and a training workshop for charitable associations and private charitable foundations on laws and decisions organising charity work, in addition to financial challenges workshop in cooperation with international experts.
She highlighted the special meeting held by Security Council and stressed need to focus on trafficking in human beings saying it is one of the methods used by terrorist groups to commit terrorist acts, in addition to seeking to obtain funding from them.
She added the Security Council has recognised the seriousness of this linkage and adopted two resolutions and a key statement in that regard, and in its resolution 2,331 encouraged the analysis of the financial flows associated with trafficking in persons used to finance terrorism.
In recognition of the need for evidence-based policies and the importance of identifying and addressing risks, Qatar has supported the CTED in conducting a systematic study on the links between trafficking in human beings and the financing of terrorism, she said, adding Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in co-operation with the Delegation of the Netherlands and the executive directorate would organise a meeting on 6 February, during which the main findings of the study would be reviewed.
Ambassador Alya said that the study will contribute to efforts aimed to address trafficking in persons when directed to support terrorism, including through the financing of terrorist acts or recruitment to commit them.