EOCN hosts Regional Workshop on Countering Proliferation Financing

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The Executive Office for control and non-proliferation hosted a "specialized regional workshop on Countering Proliferation Financing", organized in partnership with MENAFATF group and the UNODC office. The event was attended by a group of experts and delegations from brotherly and friendly countries during the period from 12-14 of June 2023.

H.E. Talal Al Teneiji, director of the EOCN office, has stressed in his speech opening the workshop, that “one of the priorities that the UAE focuses on is the system of combating financial crimes, especially those related to terrorist financing crimes and the spread of arms. The, the UAE institutions, including the EOCN office Executive Office are keen to promote cooperation and coordination to ensure the sustainability of the rehabilitation and upgrading of the capabilities and efficiency of public and private sector workers. The is to work side by side in protecting the financial system from exploitation in the passage of any funds or assets for the purposes of carrying out illegal acts that may harm the national economy and threaten the security and safety of society."

 Al Teneiji also pointed out that " national cooperation and the sharing of financial information to carry out financial investigations is a key pillar to combat crimes of financing the spread of arms, and that the existence of clear operational frameworks between all concerned parties has effectively contributed to strengthening the mechanisms of Investigation and prosecution, identifying all illicit funds and assets and depriving the financiers of the spread of arms from benefiting from them to support illegal activities related to financing the spread of weapons of Musa destruction, as is the case with the partnership between the public and private sector, where periodic meetings have resulted in enhancing the effectiveness of applying targeted financial sanctions measures and developing indicators through which suspected operation related to evading sanctions can be identified. "The UAE has been a pioneer at the level of the Middle East and North Africa in establishing a specialized committee for dialogue with the private sector, represented by the financial sectors, business and DNFBPs, to consider how to develop an information exchange mechanism and listen to the views of the private sector in order to enhance the level of effectiveness of combating crimes, including crimes of financing the spread of arms and evading sanctions,"he said.

Due to its practical and technical nature, this regional workshop has focused on discussing important topics in terms of clarifying and defining Proliferation Financing in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1540, 1718 and 2231 and the international standards issued by the FATF. This is besides identifying the risks of proliferation financing and the patterns used by criminals and evaders of sanctions to pass illicit funds in support of proliferation financing programs. The workshop has also dealt with practical examples on how to use open sources of information (available on the internet) to collect intelligence information and track funds and operations related to the financing of arms proliferation and evasion of sanctions, and also included presentations by private sector institutions on identifying the risks of proliferation financing and the mechanism to reduce them.

The EOCN office has also submitted a presentation on the UAE the experience in combating the financing of arms proliferation and the consolidation of the efforts of national institutions in the field of combating the financing of arms proliferation in terms of the institutional and legal framework and the list of restricted dual-use goods. The presentation also stressed  the UAE efforts in consolidating the understanding of the private sector to use such list, the electronic tools used in the exchange of information between national authorities, reporting on operations suspected of being linked to the financing of the spread of arms and referring to the efforts of the UAE in the National Assessment project for assessing the risks of the spread of arms and the stages of information collection and analysis and the preparation of the study according to the methodology contained in the guide manuals to assess the risks of financing the spread of arms, issued by FATF Financial Working Group.

The workshop also touched upon the risks arising from the use of modern technologies and virtual currencies to finance terrorist individuals, entities or organizations to support weapons proliferation programs, identify the tools and programs used for investigative purposes and track the path of transmission of virtual money.

These regional workshops are an effective platform for presenting valuable experiences and expertise from the United Nations Office for Drug Control and crime and the Financial Action Task Force for the Middle East and North Africa (MENAFATF), and the best experiences from the practical reality of the UAE institutions, the kingdom of Morocco and the Arab Republic of Egypt.