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ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) statement on Measures against Terrorist Financing, July 30, 2002

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF), a security grouping of 23 Asian and Western nations, at its seventh meeting at Bandar Seri Bagwan, Brunei, on July 30, 2002, finalised a five-point action plan on measures against terrorist financing. Under the action plan, it has been agreed that member countries would freeze, without delay, assets of terrorists and their associates as well as close their access to the international financial system. The full text of the statement detailing the action plan is reproduced here.


H.R.H. Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, the Chairman of the ASEAN Regional Forum, on behalf of the participating states and organization, issues the following statement:

In the interest of global peace and security, the participants in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) are determined to stop the financing of terrorism. In October 2001 the Chairman issued a statement on behalf of the participants that stated that we will address ways and means to cooperate together in the fight against terrorism. The fight against terrorist financing is a shared responsibility of the international community. We have therefore today endorsed a statement of our intention to work individually and in concert to prevent terrorists and their associates from accessing or using our financial systems and to stop abuse of informal banking networks.

These recommendations arise from the work done by senior officials of ARF participating states, notably the ARF Workshop on Financial Measures Against Terrorism hosted by Malaysia and the United States in Honolulu from March 24-26, 2002.

We agree that ARF participants will implement quickly and decisively measures that the United Nations has identified as mandatory to combating terrorist financing. We will block terrorists' access to our financial system. We will work with other relevant international bodies, including the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), FATF-style bodies, and the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) to prevent abuses to the financial system and threats to its integrity through the promotion of international standards relevant to terrorist financing, money laundering and financial sector regulation and supervision. We welcome the conclusions of the FATF extraordinary plenary on terrorist financing and its eight special recommendations on terrorist financing. Above all, we will enhance our ability to share information domestically and internationally as a vital component in the fight against terrorism. We call on all ARF participants to make every effort to provide assistance to those countries who require assistance in accordance with this statement. In pursuing our goals, we have agreed to the following concrete steps:

Freezing Terrorist Assets

· Each ARF participant will implement the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, particularly UNSCR 1373, to stop the financing of terrorism.

· In accordance with UNSCR 1373, each ARF participant will, within its jurisdiction, freeze without delay the assets of terrorists and their associates and close their access to the international financial system.

· Each ARF participant will, consistent with its laws, make public the lists of terrorists whose assets are subject to freezing, and the amount of assets frozen, if any.

Implementation of International Standards

· Each ARF participant will aim to approve, accept, ratify or accede to and implement the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism as soon as possible.

· Each ARF participant will aim to approve, accept, ratify or accede to and implement to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

· We will work co-operatively and in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, FATF and FATF-style bodies, FSF, Basle Committee of Banking Supervisors (BCBS), and other relevant international and regional bodies to promote the adoption, implementation, and assessment of international standards or recommendations to combat the abuses of the financial system, including in respect of terrorist financing, financial regulation, and money laundering.

International Cooperation: Exchange of Information and Outreach

· We will enhance our cooperation on the international exchange of information, including regarding actions taken under UN resolutions. ARF participants will promptly implement such measures as are necessary to facilitate this exchange.

· Each ARF participant should establish promptly, or maintain, a Financial Intelligence Unit or its equivalent and will take steps to enhance information sharing among them, including through promoting increased participation in groups of such units.

· An important element of this effort is the work of the regional FATF-style anti-money laundering bodies. Accordingly, the ARF participants call on these regional bodies to meet promptly and to expand their mandates to include terrorist financing.

Technical Assistance

· We are committed to providing, where possible, technical assistance to countries that need help in developing and implementing necessary laws, regulations and policies to combat terrorist financing and money laundering.

· We welcome the efforts of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and other multilateral and regional organizations to provide technical assistance, including by expanding existing programs and training centers.

Compliance and Reporting

· To promote implementation and compliance with international standards, and to share information regarding our respective laws, regulations, and best practices to address terrorist financing, we will support the activities of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee. We will also actively support surveillance and voluntary self-assessment through the IFIs, FATF and relevant international bodies.

· ARF participants should respond to the FATF’s invitation to participate in a self-assessment of the eight special recommendations on terrorist financing.

· We encourage the FSF to continue its work respecting the actions of financial sector regulators in the fight against terrorism.

· We will ensure that our financial institutions and citizens comply with measures to combat the financing of terrorism and other financial crimes, and will assist them to do so, including through informing financial institutions of their obligations and new developments.

· We welcome the active contribution of the regional FATF-style bodies to the FATF's worldwide self-assessment program.

· We will review progress on our efforts to combat the financing of terrorism at our next Ministerial meeting.






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