October 2019

Here is a round-up of the recent FATF/CFT and related news and events:

• FATF news
o Mutual Evaluation Reports (Greece, Hong Kong and Moldova)
o FATF Business Bulletin
• Global update: UNGA 74
• Regional update
o Francophone/Lusophone West Africa
o EU Supra National Risk Assessment
• National update: Pakistan, Luxemburg, Tunisia, Kosovo
• Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the impact of the
proliferation of ‘soft law’ instruments and related standard-setting
processes on civic space
• Resources
• Upcoming events

FATF news:
Mutual Evaluation Reports
Greece: Partially Compliant on Recommendation 8 on NPOs, with a ‘moderate’ level of effectiveness when it comes to laws and regulations. The report states that ‘Greece should conduct a comprehensive domestic assessment over the NPO sector to identify the features and types of subset of NPOs that are particularly at TF risk and implement focused supervision consistent with the identified risks’. Read the report here.

Hong Kong, China: Assessed to be fully Compliant on Recommendation 8 requirements for NPOs, with laws and regulations having a ‘substantial’ level of effectiveness. Read more here.

Moldova: Found Partially Compliant on Recommendation 8 on NPOs in the MONEYVAL report. Existing legislation guarantees the transparency of the sector but more needs to be done regarding its risk-based supervision.

FATF Business Bulletin: Click here.

Global update:
UN General Assembly (UNGA) 74:
Representing the Global Coalition, one of its members, Human Security Collective (HSC), was invited to the 16th Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) Coordinating Committee Meeting, held on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly session in New York in September. In a panel on ‘Safeguarding Civil Society and Humanitarian Operations while Countering the Financing of Terrorism’ moderated by the Global Center on Cooperative Security, the unintended effects of counter-terrorism measures on the work of civil society were discussed. The panel highlighted the recent developments in countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) policies, potential challenges experienced by civil society organizations as a result of these measures, and opportunities to engage in dialogue on guidance for possible ways ahead. HSC spoke about the history of engagement on these issues, the various levels of ongoing engagement and the challenges that remain.

Coalition members also took part in ‘UN counter-terrorism frameworks and sanctions regimes: safeguarding humanitarian space’, another event held on the margins of the UNGA and sponsored by Belgium and the EU. Six humanitarian organizations made these recommendations prior to this meeting, many of which were reiterated at the event itself.

Regional update:
GAFILAT: The Executive Secretariat for the FATF-Style Regional Body for Latin America, GAFILAT, has approved an official side event with NPOs at GAFILAT’s December 2019 plenary meeting in Arequipa, Peru. This channel for communication comes following a request from ICNL, the Expert Hub member from Argentina, and the Global NPO Coalition. One topic to be discussed is potential collaboration with GAFILAT on a regional assessment of the NPO sector’s risk of abuse for terrorism financing; GAFILAT members voted to explore the possibility of conducting this regional risk assessment, in principle in collaboration with the Coalition, at its July 2019 Plenary. ICNL has begun planning a regional workshop, concurrent to the Arequipa GAFILAT Plenary, to prepare NPO leaders to engage with GAFILAT and their own countries on sector risk assessments, among other opportunities.

GIABA: Coalition members attended a regional workshop for CSOs, organized by the FATF-Style Regional Body for West Africa, GIABA, in Bamako in September.

Francophone/Lusophone West Africa: Coalition partners, the West Africa Civil Society Initiative (WACSI) in collaboration with the International Center for Not-for-profit Law (ICNL), organized a three-day regional workshop for civil society organizations in Francophone and Lusophone West Africa in Abidjan in August. Increased restrictions on civic space in the region was discussed, and awareness was sought to be raised on AML/CFT and related issues. More multi-stakeholder engagement (GIABA, NPOs, financial intelligence units) was called for during the meeting. There were 23 participants from 8 Francophone counties (Guinea Conakry, Togo, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin) and 2 Lusophone countries (Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau). Also in attendance were representatives of GIABA, the FATF-Style Regional Body for the region, the Financial Intelligent Unit in Côte d’Ivoire and a Former Director of the Financial Intelligence Centre in Ghana. More here.

EU Supra National Risk Assessment (SNRA): In July the EU published its Supra National Risk Assessment on money laundering (ML) and terrorism financing (TF) affecting the internal market, lowering the ML and TF risk in 3 out of 4 NPO scenarios (compared to the 2017 SNRA Report). The risk scenario in the report is linked to the collection and transfer of NPO funds to partners/beneficiaries both within and outside the EU. But even though the threat rating has been lowered in 3 out of 4 scenarios, Coalition members remain worried by the fact that the risk rating for NPOs with regards to the threat of being abused for TF remains at Level 3 (significant), giving rise to fears that governments may have an excuse to further clamp down on the operational environment for civil society. For more on Coalition members’ advocacy on this issue and a rationale for lowering the risk assessment further, see here.

National update:
Pakistan: Coalition member Community World Service Asia organized a Parliamentary Roundtable in September in Islamabad, which discussed Pakistan’s FATF Action Plan in relation to Recommendation 8. Another Coalition member, Human Security Collective (HSC), contributed to the roundtable by discussing the Action Plan in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 2462, as well as discussing, as a case study, Indonesia’s measures to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. Coalition members also took part in a symposium on best practices in Civil Society Sustainability, where HSC discussed the experience of the Global FATF Platform while discussing the formation of coalitions around a common cause.

Luxemburg: Coalition member European Foundation Centre (EFC) took part in a roundtable organized by Fondation de Luxembourg, featuring representatives from 20 Luxembourgian foundations as well as representatives from wider NPO networks and a representative of the Ministry of Justice, to discuss the upcoming FATF evaluation among other matters. EFC shared insights on how the sector in Luxembourg can prepare for the FATF country evaluation, with Fondation de Luxembourg aiming to raise awareness of this issue ahead of the evaluation in order to engage more effectively and mitigate potential risks.

Tunisia: Coalition members continue to work on a joint NPO-government Risk Assessment of the sector, using a Risk Assessment methodology developed by one of our partners and especially tailored to the NPO sector.

Kosovo: There is a multistakeholder workshop on bank derisking of NPOs, led by Coalition partners CIVIKOS and ECNL, planned for late October.

Report of the UN Special Rapporteur:
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism has studied the impact of the proliferation of ‘soft law’ instruments and related standard-setting initiatives and processes in the counter-terrorism context on the promotion and protection of human rights at the global, regional and domestic level. The report is here (submitted to the UN General Assembly’s 74th Session on 29th August).
The Global NPO Coalition had made this submission to the Special Rapporteur in June. The Coalition’s comments focussed on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), whose recommendation on counterterrorist financing and nonprofit organizations (NPOs) have had a major impact on civil society globally.

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin. The Massive Perils of the Latest U.N. Resolution on Terrorism. JustSecurity. July 2019.

Webinar/podcast on Navigating Closing CSO Space, to which many of our Coalition partners contributed. Also includes a list of recommended resources.

Upcoming events:
World Humanitarian Action Forum, Istanbul, 15-16 Oct, where there will be four roundtables on ‘Finance’ – on the restrictions on financial transfers faced by nonprofits (often termed ‘bank derisking’) to areas that are considered at-risk for terrorism financing. Ongoing policy and technological solutions will be discussed as will Islamic Social Financing (ISF) and other non-traditional/innovative financing models, including the opportunities and challenges they give rise to.

Arab League organized event in Beirut, 6 Nov, related to building partnerships between governments and the philanthropic sector in the MENA region, at which there will be a session on the impact of CT/CFT regulations on the sector, including on the legal environment.

If you have news or examples regarding similar processes or work in your country you wish to share with the members of the Global NPO Coalition, please send a short paragraph to npos@fatfplatform.org