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Consiglio di Sicurezza – Dibattito Aperto su “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: Preventing and combating the financing of terrorism”

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatrice Mariangela Zappia, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Dibattito Aperto in Consiglio di Sicurezza su “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: Preventing and combating the financing of terrorism” —

Merci Madame Présidente et merci à la France et au Ministre des Affaires Ėtrangères Le Drian pour avoir pris l’initiative de ce débat public et pour avoir présenté la résolution que nous avons adopté aujourd’hui et que l’Italie a eu l’honneur de co-sponsoriser et merci aussi au Sous-Secrétaire Général Voronkov pour les informations qu’il a bien voulu partager depuis Rome et aux autres intervenants pour leur importante contribution à ce débat.

L’Italie bien sûr souscrit à la déclaration que l’Union européenne a délivré tout à l’heure.

The Italian Foreign Minister said it today again “terrorism exploits globalization and digitalize revolution.”

So, countering the financing of terrorism should represent a priority for all national governments and international organizations. The resolution unanimously adopted today provides a significant contribution in this respect by pointing to the harmonization of existing rules and recommendations, as well as to the strengthening of important operational aspects.

In this framework, I wish to highlight four points:

First. Great attention should be paid to complement each and every investigation relating to terrorism with specific financial investigation. Even minor and “low budget” crimes can leave financial traces that can be usefully exploited in order to comprehend the terrorist environment better and perform operational action more effectively. Therefore, a closer cooperation between law enforcement and financial intelligence should be constantly encouraged and promoted.

Second. The analysis and recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force in particular the new counter-terrorist financing operational plan adopted in February 2018, are of key importance. We greatly value the pertinent paragraphs of today’s resolution and encourage all Member States to implement these provisions in a coherent way and to provide each other with the highest level of cooperation.

Third. Italy is fully doing its part, being strongly committed, at the national and international level, to countering terrorism financing. We have actively implemented both UN and FATF measures and recommendations, including by adopting preventive actions and rigorously implementing UN sanction regimes. The adoption of the National Risk Assessment has been accompanied with a strong coordinating effort among all relevant national bodies.

The Italian Counter-Terrorism Prosecution Office works in accordance with a comprehensive protocol that includes pre-investigative and systematic exchange of information with the Financial Intelligence Units and the other relevant controlling bodies. A specific focus is devoted to suspicious operations and persons included in relevant lists, with hundreds of thousands of names and numbers being matched and checked yearly.

Equally important, the Italian Guardia di Finanza shares its know-how with all other relevant national bodies and actively provides cooperation and capacity building at the international level. In this respect, let me highlight the importance of the MoU signed today in Rome between UNOCT and the General Headquarters of the Guardia di Finanza, which was mentioned this morning by USG Voronkov in his VTC intervention. The memorandum establishes a coherent and structured collaboration in the field of capacity building: dedicated courses on countering the financing of terrorism and related matters will be provided to law enforcement officials and civil servants of Member States that will request this support.

Fourth and finally, let me underline that the balance between security actions and the protection of fundamental rights and dignity of all persons remains a priority for Italy. NGOs and associations committed to humanitarian actions and advocating fundamental human rights play a critical role in alleviating the suffering of entire populations, families and individuals. Such precious activities could suffer from inappropriate and unnecessary limits and obstacles.

Madame President,

Italy remains committed to addressing the scourge of terrorism and its related financial threats in a determined and comprehensive way, continuing at the same time to enhance its cooperation with those Member States that may need assistance in capacity building projects.

I thank you.