NEW YORK – 6 August 2020 – The UAE called on the international community to bolster its efforts to tackle the linkages between terrorism and organized crime, including through strengthening legal frameworks and the implementation of relevant UN resolutions.

“The UAE co-sponsored [Security Council resolution 2482 in 2019] because we strongly believe that our efforts to counter international terrorism cannot succeed without cutting of all sources of funding, including organized crime,” the UAE underlined in its written statement to the UN Security Council for its open debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, specifically linkages between terrorism and transnational organized crime. The UAE also expressed concern for the growing link between organized crime and terrorism, in the backdrop of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The UAE continues to update its legal frameworks and enhance the efforts of law enforcement bodies to combat and criminalize terror financing and has also implemented the latest recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force to strengthen its anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism system. The UAE also reiterated that the UN system must hold Member States accountable for their financing of terrorism when it occurs, especially when such actions violate relevant Security Council resolutions and their obligations under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

The UAE underscored that the capacity of governments, private sector, and relevant institutions to combat the threats of terrorism and organized crime needed to be enhanced through the provision of human, financial and logistical resources, especially in regions and countries most affected. They also noted that efforts to disrupt and dismantle trafficking networks needed to adapt to the evolving methods by terrorist and criminal groups. The UAE’s financial intelligence units are trained and equipped with the tools necessary to analyze and investigate suspicious transactions. Furthermore, the Central Bank is providing anti-money laundering training at the national and regional levels in addition to implementing measures to address emerging challenges relating to terrorist financing. The UAE has also launched the ‘GoAML program’ which collects and analyzes financial information to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Emphasizing the need for greater cooperation at local, regional and international levels to address the transnational threats, the UAE noted that it is a founding member of the Financial Action Task Force for the Middle East and North Africa (the Egmont group), which plays an important role in the exchange of information between financial intelligence units to combat the financing of terrorism in the region. On a global scale, the UAE noted that it collaborated with France and UNESCO to establish the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas to prevent the destruction and illegal trafficking of cultural property by terrorist groups.

Furthermore, the UAE stressed that strategies to address the linkages between terrorism and organized crime needed to take into account each country or region’s unique context to ensure effectiveness. The UAE added that this required extensive research and the involvement of regional stakeholders.