4000bce - 399
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1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
Madame President, members of the secretariat, distinguished delegates to this extraordinary plenary meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), good morning and welcome to our Nation's capitol. I thank you for affording me this opportunity to speak with you today.
For a dozen years, the membership of the Financial Action Task Force has worked to safeguard the integrity of the international financial system. You have made impressive progress countering the threats posed by money laundering. Without the force of law or treaty, this organization has convinced other nations to adopt laws and implement enforcement regimes to bar the access of criminals to the international banking system. Today, I ask you to devote your considerable experience to disrupt the misuse of the international financial system by terrorists and those who channel funds to them. The threat that terrorism poses to the world financial system demands from us an expanded effort to combat the financing of terrorism and terrorist acts. I am confident that FATF is up to this challenge.
In fact, FATF is uniquely positioned to take up the challenge of terrorist financing. Our goal must be nothing less than the disruption and elimination of the financial frameworks that support terrorism and its abhorrent acts. To achieve this end, we must commit to employing every influence both within FATF membership and throughout the world.
Among your goals for this plenary should be:
Financing terrorism is an abuse of the international financial system and is repugnant to the international community. Terrorism is a deliberate intent to cause senseless injury and death, to intimidate populations, and to cause governments to act from fear. We must make every effort to eradicate this menace.
Since the tragic events of September 11th, I am pleased that over 150 countries have expressed their support in the fight against terrorist financing. Over 80 countries have blocking orders in place to freeze terrorist assets, including many nations represented here. I thank those countries who have helped us and I look forward to continued cooperation.
Money knows no boundaries, and no nation can combat terrorist financing alone. We must all cooperate. Similarly, this effort will extend far beyond FATF and its membership. The process must include the FATF-style regional bodies as well as all responsible members of the international community.
As this extraordinary plenary meeting of the FATF turns its attention to the serious threat posed by the financing of terrorism, I have every confidence in the success of these deliberations and the actions that will follow. We ground our resolve for this task in the goodwill and cooperation of the FATF membership, and in the conscience of the greater world community. Thank you.
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