September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill Pre G-20 Summit; November 15, 2001


November 15, 2001

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill Pre G-20 Summit

This weekend we will take important steps to ensure further progress in the war on terrorist financing. Representatives of the world's 20 largest economies will meet this weekend in Ottawa to adopt an action plan that will cut off terrorist's access to the global financial system. At the meetings of the G-20, the IMFC and the Development Committee we will also address the critical need for swift, firm actions to strengthen the world economy.

The United States is doing its part. The fundamental strengths of the U.S. economy remain intact, the Federal Reserve has taken timely action, and the Administration is working with Congress on trade promotion authority and an economic growth package that will boost consumer spending and restore business investment, which creates jobs. We need a stimulus package. We need it now. I am available 24 hours a day to meet with the leaders of the tax-writing committees to get this job done.

To improve living standards around the globe, the world economy needs many engines of growth. I will ask other Ministers to put their economies on track for growth. The people of the world need every nation to act now to restore strong and vibrant global growth. Terrorist financing poses a threat to us all. We have made significant progress over the last two months. In the United States, we have blocked more then $27 million associated with the Taliban and al Qaida. Our allies around the world have blocked an additional $29 million.

My priority will be to work with the G-20, the IMFC and the Development Committee to build a coalition to sever all of the links that allow terrorists to finance their illegal acts. It is not enough for the U.S. to act alone. We cannot succeed in disrupting terrorist financing unless all countries act so there is no safe harbor, anywhere, for terrorist funds. I intend to ask G-20 members to agree on a common action plan against terrorist financing with commitments to take concrete actions to support United Nations resolutions to block financing of terrorists, to freeze terrorist assets, to criminalize the collection of funds for terrorism and to report publicly on the results of their actions. I will ask all member nations to collaborate in investigating and identifying the financiers of terrorism against whom the civilized world must take action. I also will urge the IMF and World Bank to increase quickly the emphasis placed on fighting terrorist financing and money laundering in their surveillance and diagnostic work, particularly in their assessment of countries' financial sectors and adherence to international standards.

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