ASEAN Countries Progress in Counterterrorism Financial Enforcement Controls

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Sunday, September 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On July 28-August 1, 2002, during the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) has agreed on a joint statement to enhance counterterrorism financial enforcement efforts as Singapore and some other members individually are moving to adopt new measures to implement international conventions. The ARF members pledged to work individually and together to ?prevent terrorists and their associates from accessing or using financial systems and to stop abuse of informal banking networks.? ARF members agreed to cooperate closely with relevant international bodies, such as the Financial Action Task Force and particularly the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) to promote international standards on counterterrorism financial regulation and enforcement. FATF has exerted pressure on several ASEAN members, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, for not meeting international money laundering standards. In addition, FATF has cited several Pacific islands with international financial services for their lack of cooperation.