A three-day National Capacity-Building workshop on Countering the Financing of Terrorism for Mauritius opened yesterday in the presence of the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Dharmendar Sesungkur, at the Sofitel Mauritius L'Imperial Resort and Spa Hotel, Wolmar. The Attorney General, Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, Mr Maneesh Gobin, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative to Mauritius, Ms Christine Umutoni, and other personalities were present on the occasion.
Organised by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism in collaboration with the Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance, the workshop focuses on the effective implementation of Recommendation 6 of the Financial Action Task Force which relates to targeted financial sanctions on terrorist organisations and individuals.
In his address, Minister Sesungkur highlighted that, despite terrorists groups not posing a direct threat to Mauritius, the strategic location of the country in the African-Asian financial corridor can constitute a potential risk for abuse for terrorism financing purposes. He stressed that it is therefore important for Mauritius to improve its legal and institutional frameworks to combat the financing of terrorism.
He reiterated the commitment of Mauritius in taking focused actions on protecting the integrity of its financial system so that the financial services sector can continue to prosper in a sustainable manner, contribute to economic development and provide decent jobs for the youth. Furthermore, he recalled that the Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act, commonly known as the FIAMLA, was enacted in 2002 and processes as well as institutions have been developed to implement a robust framework against money laundering and terrorism financing.
For his part, Minister Gobin underscored that the measures to be adopted by States to counter terrorism and terrorism financing pose serious challenges to human rights and the rule of law. He thus pointed out that it is crucial for the State to find the right balance between the fundamental right of the individual and the right of society at large.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator, for her part, underlined that the workshop will help to promote national understanding on obligations emanating from Security Council Resolutions on countering the financing of terrorism. The United Nations welcomes Mauritius's request for capacity-building assistance and reassures its commitment to remain engaged with national authorities to help the country in its efforts, she added.