12 March, 2021
EAG Chairman Yury Chikhanchin addressed the 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Kyoto (Japan) from 7-12 March 2021, via a video message.
In his address, he noted that, as a member of the FATF Global Network, the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism is helping member states implement FATF Standards. These standards are largely based on the provisions of a raft of UN anti-crime conventions and the UN Security Council resolution.
The EAG highly appreciates the contribution towards these efforts by a number of organisations and specialised UN institutions that have observer status in the EAG - the World Bank, IMF, UNODC, Commission on Transnational Corporation, and the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team.
Tackling money laundering is one of the most effective tools of combating crime, including organised crime, enabling to not only uncover but also prevent criminal activities that threaten security and the integrity of the international financial system.
Most financial and corruption-related crimes are committed with the aim of obtaining material benefit. Criminals are searching for new ways of profiting from criminal activities, then introducing the money into legal circulation and using it to enrich themselves. To this end, it is crucial to take action, along with other measures, to deprive the criminal community of the opportunity to use “dirty” money.
From this perspective, international cooperation in the recovery of criminal assets becomes vital, with the UN playing a key role. Although current norms established by the Palermo and Merida conventions are yielding some results, the lack of comprehensive regulation of the mutual rights and obligations of states to repatriate criminal assets means that the proportion of recovered assets to the externalised assets is small. The UN has to set up a universal international legal mechanism in the form of a multilateral convention to facilitate the recovery of criminal assets from all types of crimes, based on the principles of legality, justice, and proportionality.
The EAG Chairman urged not to ease efforts to financially squeeze terrorists and their accomplices, calling for further deepening of cooperation on AML/CFT as one of the most effective ways of combating crime.