The Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) is a regional institution similar to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for nations in the Middle East and North Africa. It is a voluntary and cooperative association that was founded by an agreement between the governments of 14 Arab countries. Following that, many more nations from the area joined the organization, increasing the total number of members to 21. To fulfill its goals, the Group specifies its work, systems, regulations, and processes and collaborates with other international entities, especially the FATF Group.
Members cooperate in approving and executing FATF recommendations and anti-terrorism treaties, and U.N. Security Council resolutions through the organization. Members want to learn about and share their experiences with money laundering and terrorism funding concerns that are relevant to their location. Members of the MENAFATF strive to pursue anti-terrorism financing measures that are compatible with their nations' cultural values, constitutional frameworks, and legal systems.
Overview Of the MENAFATF
The organization aims to raise awareness about the risks that money laundering and terrorism funding present to countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. On the other hand, this threat may be effectively addressed by cooperation among nations in the MENA region. It also ais to recall the United Nations' efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism funding.
Acknowledging the Financial Action Task Force's ("FATF") 40 Recommendations on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing and Proliferation, as well as any other standards adopted by the Arab States to strengthen the battle against money laundering and terrorism financing and proliferation, and the related U.N. Conventions and U.N. Security Council Resolutions, as the globally accepted international standards in this respect, in addition to any other guidelines issued by the Arab States to strengthen the war against money laundering and terrorism financing and proliferation.
Whereas, nations in the MENA region should work together to comply with these requirements to develop an effective system that does not conflict with their culture and values, legal frameworks, or constitutional law.
As a result, the Governments of 14 nations resolved to create MENAFATF as a FATF Style Regional Body (FSRB) in an initial Ministerial Meeting held in Manama, Bahrain on November 30, 2004. The Kingdom of Bahrain has agreed to host the organization's headquarters.
The MENAFATF is a voluntary and cooperative organization that is apart from any other international body or organization. It was founded by a contract between the nations of its members and is not based on an international convention. To fulfill its goals, it establishes its own activities, laws, rules, and processes and collaborates with other international organizations, most notably the FATF.
Participating Countries of the MENAFATF Work to Achieve the Following Goals:
- Adopting and implementing the FATF's 40 Recommendations on fighting money laundering, terrorist funding, and proliferation;
- To carry out appropriate United Nations treaties and agreements, as well as Security Council Resolutions;
- To work together within the MENA area to increase compliance with these standards, as well as to collaborate with other international organizations, businesses, and agencies to increase compliance globally;
- To collaborate on identifying regional money laundering and terrorist financing challenges, as well as to exchange relevant experiences and create ways to address them;
- To adopt steps across the area to effectively combat money laundering and terrorist financing while respecting the member nations' cultural values, political frameworks, and constitutional law
Members And Observers Of MENAFATF
Alberta, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Republic of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Oman, and Yemen.
Presidency And Secretariat
The MENAFATF Plenary selects a President and Vice President with experience in countering money laundering and terrorism funding from among its members for a one-year term, provided that the President and Vice President are not from the same nation. H.E. Mr. Ahmed Said KHALIL, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Unit is the current President until 2020. The headquarters of the Secretariat is in Bahrain. Mr. Suliman AL JIBRIN of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the executive Office Secretary.