Brussels, 25 March 2015 – The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held a Consultation and Dialogue Meeting with Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) on 25 March 2015 in Brussels, Belgium.
The main objective of this meeting was to have an open dialogue with representatives from a variety of NPOs on issues, including:
- the FATF’s ongoing work to revise its Best Practices Paper on Combating the Abuse of Non-Profit Organisations (Recommendation 8)
- the different roles of government and NPOs in protecting the sector from terrorist financing abuse
- ways to mitigate the terrorist financing risks faced by NPOs delivering services in the field
- the FATF process for assessing countries’ compliance with the FATF standards, particularly Recommendation 8 on NPOs, and
- the access of NPOs to financial services.
The meeting was chaired by the President of the FATF, Mr. Roger Wilkins AO (Australia). Representatives of 28 FATF member and observer delegations, 21 NPOs and 2 financial institutions attended the meeting. The FATF values the opportunity to engage directly with NPOs and the participants had an in-depth exchange of views on the following important issues:
- specific terrorist financing risks and vulnerabilities currently facing the NPO sector, including important conclusions from the FATF’s recent typologies report confirming that not all NPOs face high risks of terrorist abuse
- current sector initiatives to mitigate the risks of terrorist financing abuse, including measures being implemented by NPOs operating in conflict regions, and examples of good practice for maintaining the good governance, transparency and integrity of the sector
- the need to avoid a “one-size-fits-all” approach to effectively combat such abuse given the diverse characteristics of NPOs and their operational environments
- the importance of national risk assessments and domestic reviews of the sector to give countries a clear understanding of which NPOs in their jurisdiction may be facing a high risk of terrorist abuse
- the need for countries to implement appropriate mitigation measures that are commensurate with the risks identified and in line with the risk-based approach
- how the misinterpretation or poor implementation of the FATF standards can adversely impact legitimate charitable activities of NPOs, and tools in the FATF standards and methodology that will help assessors to identify and highlight this issue when assessing how effectively countries are implementing the FATF standards
- the need to foster closer relationships among government authorities, the NPO sector and banks with a view to ensuring that legitimate NPOs have access to financial services, and
- how the revised Best Practices Paper on Combating the Abuse of Non-Profit Organisations (scheduled for adoption in June) will facilitate a better understanding among countries, NPOs, financial institutions and donors of how to protect NPOs from terrorist abuse, in line with FATF standards and the risk-based approach.
The FATF reiterates its commitment to continuing engagement with the NPO sector on these issues, and recognises the value that such interactive dialogue brings to the work of the FATF.