8 July 2003

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Develops Model Laws to Help Combat Terrorism

VIENNA, 8 July (UN Information Service)  -- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is providing member states a new form of assistance in bringing their national legislation in line with international conventions that address terrorism: model laws designed to assist states in meeting their obligations to counter the financing of terrorism. Within UNODC, the anti-money laundering, legal advisory and anti-terrorism programmes have joined together to produce the legal tools needed by States. An informal expert group, working under the auspices of the Global Programme against Money Laundering  (GPML), has completed a draft of two such model laws.

Building upon the UNODC Legal Advisory Programme's widely-used Model Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Bill (for Common Law systems), the first of the draft bills incorporates terrorist financing elements to construct a legislative scheme covering financial sector regulatory requirements, provisional measures (seizing and freezing assets) and confiscation of terrorist-related property.

The second bill implements the provisions of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and key Security Council Resolutions (including 1373 of 2001), and criminalizes various acts of terrorist financing.  The two bills are designed to work in tandem in providing States with a comprehensive system, adaptable to their individual circumstances, which takes full account of the widely recognized linkages between anti-money laundering measures (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT).

According to James Callahan, Director, Treaty Affairs at UNODC, these model laws "will provide governments with the tools they need to bring their legislation into compliance with the Convention and with UN Security Council Resolutions aimed at ending terrorism.  Just as anti-money laundering actions against drug traffickers have been highly effective, attacking the financial assets used by terrorist organizations is one of the best methods of damaging and ultimately destroying terrorist networks."

The models are now undergoing final review and editing with a view to their release for technical assistance work with Member States before the end of July, at which time they will be posted on GPML's International Money Laundering Information Network (IMOLIN) web-site http://www.imolin.org.  Further information on this and other AML/CFT initiatives is available from GPML by telephone at 43 1 26060 4313, and email at  gpml@unodc.org

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