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News : International : Organization of American States (OAS) Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM


Inter-American Committee against Terrorism Addresses Hemispheric Cooperation Measures to Counter the Financing of Terrorism and Money Laundering
By OAS
Mar 8, 2013 - 6:38:02 PM

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The Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Organization of American States (OAS) today inaugurated its thirteenth regular session highlighting the importance of strengthening hemispheric cooperation in combating terrorism and its financing.

In the opening ceremony, the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, thanked the delegates of the member countries, noting that "your presence here today is in itself yet another indication of an already constituted hemispheric commitment to forge our collective security by strengthening cooperation to prevent, combat, and eradicate acts of terrorism and thereby generate ample opportunities in our region for prosperous and peaceful coexistence.”

In his address, Ambassador Ramdin stressed that the fight against the financing of terrorism and money laundering are fundamental issues as "attacking them involves going against the roots of the organization, planning, support for, and perpetration of terrorist acts,” and because the funding of these criminal activities can be linked to other crimes “that may go from destabilizing the economic and financial system to destabilizing an entire country's or region's institutions, thereby undermining the values underpinning the democratic and peaceful coexistence of the peoples of the Americas.”

“The importance attached to preventing the financing of terrorist acts stems from a crime prevention rationale, and the destabilizing effect that may be wrought by potential connections between different categories of crime,“ said the senior OAS official, who specifically highlighted drug and arms trafficking and corruption.

Mentioning other challenges in combating the financing of terrorism, Ambassador Ramdin referred to globalization and information technology. “In our societies today, constantly shifting payment and financial transfer methods, combined with ever new technologies, make it difficult to track flows of money that might be used for criminal purposes without appropriate international cooperation,” he said.

Finally, the Assistant Secretary General expressed his confidence that the sessions of CICTE "will lend a new and more profound meaning to the concept of international cooperation by renewing and strengthening the resolve of the Member States in this area."

For his part, the Chair of CICTE and Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the OAS, José Rodrigo Vielmann Leon, presented a summary of the activities undertaken during the last year, which were focused on strengthening cyber security. "Telecommunications should be a support tool in the fight against terrorism," he said, recalling that it is necessary to use the resources that they provide for a safer world. "It is necessary to join efforts and understand that international terrorism has no borders, and as such our approach to combat this scourge must not have them either.”

The opening session was also attended by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations, and Vice Chair of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee, Ambassador Eugène-Richard Gasana, who advocated for broadening cooperation not only regionally, but also at the international level in counter-terrorism efforts. In this regard he expressed the will of the United Nations Committee to work with and provide technical assistance to regional and international organizations. "My presence here is a sign of this commitment," he said.

Ambassador Gasana also reiterated the need to maintain the respect for human rights in the implementation of anti-terrorism measures, the need to address terrorist campaigns, to support the victims and vulnerable populations and to address the social implications of this scourge, "which has high implications on the social fabric of a country."

In analyzing the situation in the hemisphere, the Representative of Rwanda to the UN said that "the region of the Americas has a difficult history, and some states continue to experience problems with terrorism and other violent crimes. However, we have seen that many states have made progress on issues such as the ratification of anti-terrorism international instruments, the adoption of new legislation in this area and regulation in the financial system to control terrorism." Ambassador Gasana closed by reiterating the interest of the United Nations Committee in cooperating with CICTE and "to continue to work together in sharing information, best practices and technical assistance, as it is the most important Inter-American organization in this area."

CICTE is composed of all OAS Member States that meet annually in a forum of discussion and decision making on counter-terrorism issues. The Member States designate the competent national authorities, their principal representative and the advisors that they deem appropriate to represent them before CICTE.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.

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