The UAE has called on the international community to bolster its efforts to tackle the linkages between terrorism and organised crime, including through strengthening legal frameworks and the implementation of relevant UN resolutions.
The UN Security Council held an open debate on the threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, specifically linkages between terrorism and transnational organised crime.
In a written statement to the UN Council, the UAE said, “The UAE co-sponsored [Security Council Resolution 2482 in 2019] because we strongly believe that our efforts to counter international terrorism cannot succeed without cutting of all sources of funding, including organised crime.”
The UAE also expressed concern for the growing link between organised crime and terrorism against the backdrop of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“The UAE continues to update its legal frameworks and enhance efforts by law enforcement bodies to combat and criminalise terror financing and has also implemented the latest recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force to strengthen its anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism systems,” the statement added.
The country also reiterated that the UN system must hold Member States accountable for their financing of terrorism when it occurs, especially when such actions violate relevant Security Council resolutions and their obligations under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
The UAE further underscored that the capacity of governments, private sector, and relevant institutions to combat the threats of terrorism and organised crime needed to be enhanced through the provision of human, financial, and logistical resources, especially in regions and countries most affected. It also noted that efforts to disrupt and dismantle trafficking networks needed to adapt to evolving methods by terrorist and criminal groups.
The statement continued, “The UAE’s financial intelligence units are trained and equipped with the tools necessary to analyse and investigate suspicious transactions. Furthermore, the Central Bank is providing anti-money laundering training at the national and regional levels, in addition to implementing measures to address emerging challenges relating to terrorist financing.
“The UAE has also launched the ‘GoAML programme,’ which collects and analyses financial information to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.”
Emphasising the need for greater cooperation at local, regional and international levels to address transnational threats, the UAE noted that it is a founding member of the Financial Action Task Force for the Middle East and North Africa (the Egmont group), which plays an important role in the exchange of information between financial intelligence units to combat the financing of terrorism in the region.
On a global scale, the UAE noted that it collaborated with France and UNESCO to establish the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas to prevent the destruction and illegal trafficking of cultural property by terrorist groups.
Furthermore, the UAE stressed that strategies to address the linkages between terrorism and organised crime needed to take into account each country or region’s unique context to ensure effectiveness. The UAE concluded that this required extensive research and the involvement of regional stakeholders.