Bangladesh has been complying with the requirements of the UNSCR since the inception of FIU in Bangladesh Bank through issuance of Circular Letter to the Reporting Organizations but with the changes of FATF recommendations in February, 2012, especially through the inclusion of recommendation 7 relating to the prevention, suppression and disruption of proliferation of weapons of mass destructions and its financing and the adoption of successor resolutions of 1267 made the coverage satisfactory wider. Now the compliance requirements under those provisions of UNSCRs are not limited to only with the financial matters but also include restrictions of entry into or transit through Bangladesh of listed individuals and entities, restrictions of supply, sale or transfer of arms and ammunition, prevention of illicit trafficking in nuclear chemical or biological weapons, denying permission for any aircraft owned or leased by listed person or entity to take off or land in Bangladesh and so on.
The Bangladesh Government is strongly committed to the effective implementation of UNSCR 1267 and its follow-up resolutions. This is reflected in a series of concrete actions already taken by Bangladesh. Let me cite some of these actions.
• Issuance of an SRO on 29th November, 2012 under section 2 of the United Nations (Security Council) Act, 1948 and amendment of the SRO on 18 June, 2013 to make comprehensive implementation mechanism.
• Formation of a National Committee to oversee the implementation of the mechanism.
• Amendment of the Anti Terrorism Act in 2012 and again in 2013, aiming to meet all the requirements of international standards.
• Inclusion of the provisions of UNSCRs in the Anti Terrorism (Amendment) Act, 2013 considering the enforceability.
• Inclusion of a separate chapter to make provisions to implement the requirements of UNSCRs.
• Finally, the draft of Anti Money Laundering rules has been prepared under section 43 of ATA which is going to be issued soon.
All these actions show strong commitment of Bangladesh Government towards implementing the UNSCRs. Our Honorable Prime Minister also declared “ZERO TOLERANCE” against terrorism and terrorist financing. Apart from the implementation of the provisions of UNSCRs, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in the last three years to upgrade its AML/CFT regime. Some actions taken can be cited here;
• Formation of a National Coordination Committee headed by Honorable Finance Minister for formulation of AML/CFT policies.
• Formation of a working committee headed by the Secretary, Bank and Financial Institution Division, Ministry of Finance consisting of all stakeholders as member.
• Completion of the assessment of National ML/TF risk and vulnerabilities.
• Development of National AML/CFT strategy for 2011-2013 to comply with the UN Conventions and Resolutions and to mitigate the identified risk and vulnerabilities.
• Accession to Palermo Convention.
• Enactment of Money Laundering Prevention Act in 2012 repealing MLPA, 2009 to strengthen the AML/CFT regime of Bangladesh and to meet the international standards.
• Enactment of Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matter Act, 2012 to facilitate better international cooperation regarding ML/TF and related offences.
• Amendment of Extradition Act, 1974 to incorporate money laundering and terrorist financing as scheduled offence.
• Issuance of Mutual Legal Assistance Rules on 08 September, 2013 to ease the procedure of international cooperation.
• Issuance of AML/CFT Guidance Notes for Insurance Companies, Money Changers, Financial Institutions, and Capital Market Intermediaries by BFIU.
Considering the above mentioned development APG has upgraded our previous rating against 14 FATF core and key recommendations out of 16. On 03 July BFIU has been awarded the Egmont Group membership. Now Bangladesh is also expecting that it will come out of the ICRG (International Cooperation and Review Group) process soon. Our focuses here today are compliance requirements under UNSCRs related to terrorist financing and proliferation financing of weapons of mass destructions, International Obligations and Scenario in relation to UNSCRs on terrorist financing and proliferation financing and the role of UN sanctions committees, legal and institutional framework to combat terrorist financing and proliferation financing of weapons of mass destructions, implementation procedure and mechanism and the role of inter agency cooperation,. I hope we will get opportunity to discuss more about these issues to learn from exchanging experience and expertise and also will be able to map our future course of action. Macroeconomic fundamentals are pretty strong. All indicators are positive. We need to create good image of the country. So that FDI will increase.
To implement the provisions of UNSCRs is in a way a collective responsibility of the National Committee which comprises members from different ministries and organizations. So an efficient as well as effective coordination mechanism is very much required.
(Speech of Atiar Rahman, governor of Bangladesh Bank, made at the inauguration of a workshop on UNSCR implementation procedure in Dhaka on Monday October 8)