UNSC adopts landmark terror finance resolution; Zappia highlights Italy’s committment, new MoU with UNOCT

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NEW YORK, MARCH 28 – Countering the financing of terrorism should represent a priority for all national governments and international organizations because, as the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Enzo Moavero said today “terrorism exploits globalization and digitalize revolution,” the Italian Permanent Representative to the United States Mariangela Zappia told today the Security Council after the unanimous adoption of a resolution which Italy co-sponsored.

Speaking via video-link from Rome, where he has been meeting specialist Italian law enforcement officials to discuss building closer ties to tackle the problem, the UN’s counter-terrorism chief, Vladimir Voronkov, said that the adoption comes at a “critical time,” with recent attacks demonstrating that terror groups continue to have access to both legal and illegal sources of funding. Underscoring the necessity for strong collaboration and targeted efforts, in order to achieve “concrete results” in the fight against terrorism and terrorist financing, Mr. Voronkov said that Resolution 2462 on Countering the Financing of Terrorism, pulls together previous resolutions to create a consolidated document that also covers several key emerging issues.

The resolution calls for the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) – set up in 2017 to strengthen the Organization’s ability to implement s global counter-terrorism strategy – to play a leading role in identifying ways to suppress terrorist financing.

Zappia underlined Italy’s commitment to this battle both at the national and the international level: “We have actively implemented both UN and FATF measures and recommendations, including by adopting preventive actions and rigorously implementing UN sanction regimes. The adoption of the National Risk Assessment has been accompanied with a strong coordinating effort among all relevant national bodies. The Italian Counter-Terrorism Prosecution Office works in accordance with a comprehensive protocol that includes pre-investigative and systematic exchange of information with the Financial Intelligence Units and the other relevant controlling bodies. A specific focus is devoted to suspicious operations and persons included in relevant lists, with hundreds of thousands of names and numbers being matched and checked yearly.

Equally important, the Italian Guardia di Finanza shares its know-how with all other relevant national bodies and actively provides cooperation and capacity building at the international level. In this respect, Zappia highlighted the importance of the MoU signed today in Rome between UNOCT and the General Headquarters of the Guardia di Finanza, which was mentioned this morning by USG Voronkov in his VTC intervention. The memorandum establishes a coherent and structured collaboration in the field of capacity building: dedicated courses on countering the financing of terrorism and related matters will be provided to law enforcement officials and civil servants of Member States that will request this support.

Finally, the Italian Ambassador underlined that the balance between security actions and the protection of fundamental rights and dignity of all persons remains a priority for Italy. NGOs and associations committed to humanitarian actions and advocating fundamental human rights play a critical role in alleviating the suffering of entire populations, families and individuals. Such precious activities could suffer from inappropriate and unnecessary limits and obstacles. (@OnuItalia)