- 06 February, 2019: A three-day national capacity building workshop on “Mitigating the risk of terrorist abuse for Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) for Mauritius” opened this morning at the Sofitel Mauritius L’Impérial Resort and Spa Hotel, Wolmar, Flic en Flac, in the presence of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, Mr Maneesh Gobin, and the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Dharmendar Sesungkur.
An initiative of the Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance in collaboration with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the workshop which is being held from 6 to 8 February 2019, is a follow-up of a first workshop of its kind held in October last year. The recommendations of the workshop will culminate towards the finalising of the National Risk Assessment Report (NRA) for Mauritius which will form the basis of Mauritius risk-based approach which is central to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards.
The NRA report will assist Mauritius in the prioritisation and efficient allocation of its resources and provide useful information to financial institutions and designate non-financial businesses and professions to support the conduct of their own risk assessments.
Concurrently, a National Strategy 2019-2022 and an Action Plan will also be articulated to set the road map for the Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance for the next three years.
Some 50 participants, both local and foreign, namely those evolving in the field of countering financing of terrorism and NPOs as well as law enforcement experts and regulators are attending the workshop which will help assist Mauritius in its endeavors to strengthen its capacity to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. Focus will be laid on protecting NPOs from being misused for terrorism financing purposes.
Addressing the participants, Minister Sesungkur expressed his Ministry’s determination and perseverance in building and enhancing capacity and competence to help fight and counter terrorism and achieve a “zero tolerance” policy. The interest of his Ministry to partner in such capacity building initiatives alongside the UNOCT, he added, bears testimony to the Government’s commitment in its strike against terrorism. He further gave his assurance that Mauritius remains an active ally in supporting anti-terrorism action and will continue to stand by the United Nations’ agencies in such endeavours.
According to the Minister, terrorist abuse for NPOs is an area where more attention is needed in the future. He further underlined that a recent FATF typologies project found that the terrorism threat to the NPO sector continues to be a concern, and the sector is still being misused and exploited by terrorist organisations through a variety of means.
Mr Sesungkur further recalled that Mauritius has a longstanding commitment to meeting international standards to combat money laundering and terrorism financing through the commitment and dedication demonstrated by the public officers, law enforcement experts and regulators and through the excellent connection with the private sector which was demonstrated during the development of the first national assessment on money laundering and terrorist financing risks which is near completion.
For her part, the UN Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative to Mauritius, Mrs Christine N. Umutoni, reiterated the UNDP’s support to Mauritius to counterfeit terrorism. She also highlighted that the international community have over the years been looking for international funds to fight terrorism which is a pressing issue to address. Protecting NPOs from terrorism threat is a requisite to better protect the financial sector, she added.
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