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5th Regional Counter-Terrorism Financing Summit: The Manila Communiqué

The 5th CTF Summit was held on 12-14 November 2019 and hosted by the Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), in partnership with Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK).

The Summit was attended by over 350 representatives from 29 countries consisting of officials and experts from financial intelligence units, senior representatives from the policy, regulatory, law enforcement and national security agencies, the FinTech/RegTech industry, financial industry, multi-lateral bodies, think tanks and academia from across the region and the globe.

The Summit was opened by Secretary Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr, National Security Adviser and Director-General of the National Security Council of the Philippines.

“There are still challenges in our fight against terrorism financing,” said Secretary Esperon in his keynote address. “All the more urgent for us to work together as one - unify our efforts to strengthen our respective capacities; maintain a conducive environment for sustainable development; and protect the integrity of our financial systems and institutions through a holistic framework of prevention and disruption of terrorism and terrorism financing.”

The Anti-Money Laundering Council Secretariat Executive Director Mel Georgie B. Racela said that the “three days has been an opportunity to discover best practices and new input from various sessions; expand networks in the area of countering terrorism financing; and, of course, experience the Filipino people’s famous brand of hospitality.”

The Head of PPATK, Kiagus Ahmad Badaruddin, expressed his vision and desire for legislation amongst regional countries to be enhanced, “so barriers inhibiting the timely sharing of information amongst financial intelligence units are reduced as much as possible.”

Ms Nicole Rose PSM, Chief Executive Officer of AUSTRAC, commended the broadening of the scope of the Summit to now incorporate serious transnational crime.  Ms Rose also emphasised the sharpened focus of the Summit on creating opportunities for operational engagement amongst the region’s financial intelligence units and the private sector, to create actionable financial intelligence for use by the region’s law enforcement agencies.

Mrs Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance Indonesia, addressed the delegates by highlighting the huge economic and human cost of transnational organised crime such as environmental crimes, terrorist financing, corruption and tax evasion. Minister Mulyani drew attention to the new financial technologies that are helping drive global trade whilst also recognising the dangers they pose when abused by criminals.  In response, she called for greater domestic and international cooperation and increased information sharing to combat these threats and commended the CTF Summit for its power to facilitate real collaboration amongst financial intelligence units, law enforcement and the private sector.

This year’s CTF Summit theme is Together United - Strengthening Our Region. Participants reflected on the growth and the substantial achievements of the Summit and its working groups since its establishment in 2015. This includes the evolution of the regional Financial Intelligence Consultative Group (FICG) to both improve the understanding of key regional CTF risks and strengthen operational collaboration between regional FIUs on mutually agreed transnational crime priorities.

The Summit addressed a range of key and emerging money laundering and terrorism financing issues, including child exploitation, human trafficking, wildlife smuggling, trade-based money laundering and corruption. The abuse of crowd funding, social media platforms and virtual assets were also considered.

Based on the outcomes from the plenary meetings, participants:

Agree to proactively identify and share counter-terrorism financing strategies through regional operational collaboration based on the outcomes and recommendations of the South East Asia Counter Terrorism Financing Working Group Disruption Toolkit, which provides a range of collaborative measures for how competent authorities, including financial intelligence units, law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies will collaborate to detect, deter and disrupt the funding of terrorism in our region.

Commit to the continuation in 2020 of the development and testing of a secure online information sharing platform that will greatly enhance and enrich the exchange of intelligence between regional financial intelligence units.

Support the findings and recommendations of the Regional Threat Assessment on Laundering of Corruption Proceeds including developing a ‘red flags’ product for use by the private sector and to strengthen collaboration to prevent serious transnational corruption in our region.

Support the outcomes of the Virtual Assets: Operational Guidance for Financial Intelligence Purposes report through collaboration between FIUs and the private sector to reduce the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing of virtual asset activities in the region and reduce the risk of regulatory and supervisory arbitrage.

Agree to expand on existing operational initiatives including the Multi-lateral Analyst Exchanges, Analyst Hubbing and the regional Financial Intelligence Analysis Course, to increase the capacity, understanding, analysis and sharing of intelligence held by each financial intelligence unit and to partner with the private and non-government sectors to address a range of serious transnational crimes in our region.

Confirm the role of the FICG as the principal CTF Summit Committee for commissioning and overseeing strategic and operational engagement across the region’s financial intelligence units, noting the increasing number and range of operational activities being undertaken by the body.

Agree that in order to accommodate the increasing operational focus of the Financial Intelligence Consultative Group, the CTF Summit now be conducted on a biannual basis with the next Summit to be held in 2021.

Note the outcomes of this year’s Summit align with and support announcements from other recent international fora including the 2019 ‘No Money for Terror’ Conference and the 6th Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Council on Law and Security in November 2019.

Thank the Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for hosting the 5th CTF Summit in 2019.

Manila Communique (PDF, 415KB)