Final STAR Report Now Released and Available Online
An APEC counter terrorism conference has called on all APEC Member Economies to develop Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) and to provide for effective information sharing to combat terrorist financing and money laundering.
The Working Group on the establishment of Financial Intelligence Units meeting at the Second Secure Trade in the APEC Region (STAR) Conference agreed that these FIUs were the key agencies in stopping the movement of terrorist and criminal finances. The Final Report from the STAR Conference has been released and is now available online (www.apec.org).
The conference agreed that APEC Member Economies with established systems working to prevent terrorist financing and money laundering should assist other economies to establish similar facilities.
As part of this expanding network aimed at countering terrorist and criminal financing, the conference agreed that governments should provide FIUs with broad access to a wide variety of financial information, including bank accounts and tax information.
The conference also recommended that APEC Member Economies should consider imposing anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism obligations on independent legal professionals.
APEC Member Economies were urged by the conference to develop comprehensive national strategies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. These strategies should articulate in detail the goals of the public and private sectors as partners and the timetable for accomplishing those goals.
Delegates at the STAR Conference also received several presentations from representatives of international institutions such as United Nations, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as well as experts from APEC Member Economies.
The STAR Conference is a forum for senior business and government representatives from around that Asia Pacific Region. The conference aims to identify and discuss counter terrorism issues relevant to business and trade and to ensure that expanded security measures do not have a detrimental effect APEC's trade agenda.
Other areas that were discussed by the STAR Conference include Maritime Security, Air Transportation Security and Business Mobility.
Following the success of the inaugural STAR Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, last year, the Second STAR Conference took place in Viña del Mar, on March 5-6. Recommendations from the conference will be presented to APEC Officials, Ministers and Leaders for policy consideration.