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Statement of the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Washington DC, October 6, 2001

See also: Action Plan to Combat the Financing of Terrorism

We met today to discuss international efforts to combat the financing of terrorism and to address the impact of last month's terrorist attacks on the global economy.

We stand united in our commitment to vigorously track down and intercept the assets of terrorists and to pursue the individuals and countries suspected of financing terrorists. We will implement UN sanctions to block terrorist assets. We are encouraged by the number of countries throughout the world that have already joined in international action to wage a successful fight against the financing of terrorism. We appreciate their efforts. We welcome the decision by the Financial Action Task Force to hold an extraordinary plenary session in Washington on October 29 and 30 to expand its mandate to combat terrorist financing. We will work together to implement our Action Plan which we release today.

Last month's terrorist attacks could delay the resumption of strong growth in our economies. Decisive action has already been taken to support a robust recovery. Notwithstanding remaining short-term uncertainties, we are confident about our future prospects. We are strongly committed to bringing forward needed measures to increase economic growth and preserve the health of our financial markets. We will continue to monitor exchange markets closely and cooperate as appropriate.

Emerging market and developing economies have felt the effects of the slowdown in our economies and could be affected by uncertainty following last month's terrorist attacks. The prospects of the poorest countries could be damaged, and we will take the necessary steps to mitigate these impacts. Those countries adversely impacted by recent developments should also create the conditions for strong economic growth and sustained private capital flows, and the international financial institutions stand ready to assist.

We also discussed the opportunities flowing from greater interactions and linkages among the world's people. We agreed that greater global economic integration brings large benefits. Key to raising living standards and reducing poverty is increasing productivity growth and raising the rate of potential growth. We will do so by promoting free trade and regulatory reform, strengthened capital markets, and enhanced educational opportunity. We thus reaffirm our support for the launch of a new Round of trade negotiations at the upcoming WTO Ministerial.

Greater economic integration brings with it new challenges, requiring increased international cooperation to support sound governance and strong institutions. We will continue to take steps to address dislocations associated with economic adjustment and work to ensure that all can benefit from integration, including through well-targeted and well-coordinated development assistance, effective implementation of the HIPC Initiative, and poverty reduction strategies.

We welcome Russia's continued economic growth, progress on reform, and ratification of new anti-money laundering legislation. We look forward to additional progress in the financial sector and to an improved investment climate to help sustain growth throughout Russia.

Action Plan to Combat the Financing of Terrorism

We, the G7 Finance Ministers, have developed an integrated, comprehensive Action Plan to block the assets of terrorists and their associates. We pledge to work together to deliver real results in combating the scourge of the financing of terrorism.

More vigorous implementation of international sanctions is critical to cut off the financing of terrorism. We are implementing UNSCR 1333 and UNSCR 1373, which call on all States to freeze the funds and financial assets not only of the terrorist Usama bin Laden and his associates, but terrorists all over the world. Each of us will ratify the UN Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing as soon as possible. We will work within our Governments to consider additional measures and share lists of terrorists as necessary to ensure that the entire network of terrorist financing is addressed.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) should play a vital role in fighting the financing of terrorism. At its extraordinary plenary meeting in Washington D.C., FATF should focus on specific measures to combat terrorist financing, including:

Enhanced sharing of information among financial intelligence units (FIUs) is also critical to cut off the flow of resources to terrorist organizations and their associates. We call on all countries to establish functional FIUs as soon as possible. The G7 countries will all join the Egmont Group, which promotes cooperation between national FIUs, and turn around information sharing requests as expeditiously as possible. We also call on the Egmont Group to enhance cooperation among its members, to improve its information exchange with the FIUs in other countries, and to exchange information regarding terrorist financing. We encourage all countries to establish a terrorist asset-tracking center or similar mechanism and to share that information on a cross-border basis.

Financial supervisors and regulators around the world will need to redouble their efforts to strengthen their financial sectors to ensure that they are not abused by terrorists. We welcome the guidance by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision on customer identification to stop the abuse of the financial system by terrorists and urge that it be incorporated into banks' internal safeguards. We urge the International Monetary Fund to accelerate its efforts, in close relation with the Financial Stability Forum, to assess the adequacy of supervision in offshore financial centers and provide the necessary technical assistance to strengthen their integrity.

We ask all governments to join us in denying terrorists access to the resources that are needed to carry out evil acts.

Source: Department of Finance Canada

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