Countering the Financing of Terrorism

Adoption of the resolution on “Countering the Financing of Terrorism,” followed by an open debate - Statement by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Security Council – 28 March 2019

Ministers,
Ambassadors,
Speakers, whom I thank for their very informed presentations,

The UN Charter, which gives this Council the responsibility to maintain international peace and security, has led it over the course of many years to regularly consider every aspect of the fight against terrorism.

It is once again the goal of a concerted, coherent, effective fight against terrorism that brings us here together, with the adoption of this resolution on combatting new forms of terrorism financing.

For many years now we have acted resolutely in the face of the terrorist threat by confronting our enemies directly on the ground.

Here I would like to pay a heartfelt tribute to those – and especially to the Iraqi security forces and Syrian Democratic Forces – who fought Daesh and wrested from its so-called caliphate all the territory it had conquered in 2014. They defended and are still defending our security and our model of collective existence.

But it would be a very big mistake to believe that terrorism is defeated once its territorial claims have been destroyed. They may be retreating, but al-Qaeda and Daesh have not disappeared. On the contrary, they are adapting. While we have driven them out of the lands they had occupied, they are transforming once again into clandestine networks. While we prevented them from crossing borders, they are using cyberspace to direct the perpetrators of their criminal projects from abroad or to inspire them within the very heart of our societies.

As leaders, our first responsibility is to guarantee the security of our fellow citizens. We must therefore see our fight against terrorism through to the end, anticipating changes in the threat and adapting our responses accordingly.

Our enemies are seeking to relocate to new territories; we will fight them. They want to contaminate our young people with their deadly ideology; we will protect our societies. They want to send out their fighters, publicize their ideas, transfer funds; we will isolate them.

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Ladies and gentlemen,

As I just said, we must tackle this problem at the root and step up our efforts to isolate terrorists by drying up their sources of financing. Because here too, our enemies have demonstrated a formidable capacity for adaptation.

They have long known how to profit from trafficking, crime and even certain mainstream economic transactions. Now, expelled from their territories, they have learned how to occupy new virtual financial spaces, where they are exploiting the possibilities offered by new technologies.

Terror networks know how to amass funds by opening online pools. They don’t hesitate to pervert the practice of hawala to transfer funds to the other side of the world. They are learning how to convert their resources into cryptocurrency in order to purchase drones in cyberspace.

The challenge is great. Our determination must be equally great, to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in the fight against terrorism financing.

This is the ambition that led France to host the “No Money for Terror” conference in Paris, in April 2018, and to promote the adoption of an ambitious agenda and the formation of the Paris Coalition against terrorism financing.

This will also be the ambition of Australia, which will take over from France and will convene the Paris Coalition in Melbourne in November 2019. In this respect, I would like to express my warmest thanks to the representative of Australia.

Lastly, this is the ambition that prompted us to raise this matter at the Security Council, by proposing the adoption of an authoritative doctrine to guide the international community’s work on the fight against terrorism financing.

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Ladies and gentlemen,

The adoption of a Security Council resolution is a strong political act. We would like to thank all of our Security Council partners for their active contribution to the negotiations.

However, the adoption of such a resolution is not an end in itself. It is a start, the start of the implementation phase – which should mobilize us all just as much – during which we must demonstrate that we are able to live up to our responsibilities.

In the face of the multifaceted and constantly changing threat that I described, we must develop the broadest partnership possible. A partnership which, by involving all actors concerned – states, private sector, multilateral institutions, civil society – is the only way to respond in a way that is commensurate with the challenge.

I would like to launch an appeal to all members of this partnership to embrace the resolution that we have just adopted and to make a commitment to implementing all aspects of it.

An appeal to states, which have to fight - through their legal systems - against individuals, groups and entities that fund terrorism; to strengthen their cooperation and their commitment to giving support to countries that need it the most in this fight; to implement the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), whose role in establishing the norms and standards in the fight against terrorism financing is reaffirmed in this resolution. In this respect, I would like to thank its president, Marshall Billingslea, for joining us this morning.

I would also like to appeal to the United Nations, in particular to the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), whose work is so important, notably in providing countries that need it with the necessary technical assistance to develop their capacity to combat terrorism financing. I especially welcome the speech by Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office, and would like to assure him of France’s full support.

An appeal to the private sector, whose involvement and participation in the fight against terrorism financing are more necessary than ever.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Lastly, I welcome the balance that has been struck in this text between our goal of combating terrorism financing more effectively and the possibility for humanitarian actors to carry out their missions under favorable conditions, without any hindrance.

Thank you for your attention.

Last modified on 26/04/2019

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