India seeks closer cooperation between UN, FATF to fight terror funding
United Nations: India has asked the world body to increase its cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and similar organisations that fight the financing of terrorists.
“The flow of resources meant to produce terror are required to be stopped by states for which collective inter-state efforts are required at regional and sub-regional levels,” Yedla Umasankar, the legal adviser at India’s UN Mission, said on Wednesday.
He said the FATF “has a significant role in setting global standards for preventing and combating terrorist financing and UN needs to increase cooperation with such bodies”.
The FATF, which has 39 members including India, sets guidelines for fighting terrorism financing and monitors their compliance.
“We strongly condemn direct or indirect financial assistance given to terrorist groups or individual members thereof by States or its machineries,” Umasankar said at a meeting of the General Assembly’s legal affairs committee on “Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism”.
The FATF is to meet next week in Paris and Pakistan is on the agenda.
Pakistan is on its “gray list” of countries with “strategic deficiencies” and was given a set of guidelines to remedy them.
“The FATF expresses concern that not only did Pakistan fail to complete its action plan items with January deadlines, it also failed to complete its action plan items due May 2019,” the organisation has said.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi have accused India of trying to push it into the “black list”, which would seriously hamper its ability to get foreign financing.
Umasankar said that the failure at the UN to get an agreement on the Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism (CCIT) “remains one of the great gaps in the international legislative framework that would strengthen efforts to destroy safe haven for terrorists, their financial flows and their support networks”.
Disagreement on defining terrorists and terrorism has blocked progress on the convention proposed by India in 1996.
“India is of the firm belief that a Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism (CCIT) will provide a strong legal basis for the fight against terrorism and will be in the interest of all member states,” Umasankar said.
“The Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) being discussed by the UN General Assembly over the last decade has resulted in little impact on the ground,” he said.
He also criticised the working of the Sanctions Committees of the Security Council, which he said, “have become selective tools due to opaque working methods and politicised decision making”.
The sanctions committee that handles al-Qaeda, Islamic State and similar terrorist groups took a decade to declare Jaish-e-Mohamed chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist because of manoeuvres by China during the panel’s secret meetings.