Baku hosts seminar on “Understanding FATF standards for non-profit sector”

Baku, December 18, AZERTAC

An international seminar on “Understanding FATF standards for non-profit sector” co-organized by Financial Monitoring Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan (FMS) and Open Government Platform of Azerbaijan has been held in Baku under the aegis of International Centre (ICNL) for Not-for-Profit Law and Empowering Civil Society Organizations for Transparency (ECSOFT) - project of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Alimammad Nuriyev, head of the Open Government Platform made an opening speech at the seminar and emphasized its crucial role in enhancing knowledge and skills for more effective implementation of measures considered in FATF Recommendations. In his speech, Rovshan Najaf, Chairman of the Executive Board in FMS highlighted the risks of abusing NGOs by criminals in the sphere of financing terrorism and measures could be taken by NGOs in this direction. Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Azerbaijan, Mr. Jaydev Singh touched upon the positive results of USAID's cooperation with Azerbaijan and the importance of NGOs in this area during his speech. Furthermore, the Vice President of ICNL, Natalia Bourjaily emphasized in her presentation that the vast majority of NGOs in Azerbaijan receive funding from the UN, EU or USAID, that have very strict regulations related to financing terrorism or money laundering and stressed that the government should focus on NGOs within that risk group.

At the event, Sabina Salmanova, Chief department for Registration and Notary System of the Ministry of Justice and Azer Abbasov, head of Legal Department at FMS spoke respectively about obligations of NGOs in AML, and obligations of civil society organizations against terrorism financing.

Further, international experts - Vanja Skoric and Ben Evans underlined the importance of the non-profit sector, provided information on FATF and MONEYVAL, and presented FATF standards and procedures. Meanwhile, topics on FATF Recommendations (especially Rec. 1, 8, 24, 25), immediate Outcome 10, risk assessment methodologies for non-profit sector, evaluation and follow up cycle - what are countries expected to do and how, and stakeholder engagement throughout the cycle were covered.

Later, the participants had a discussion on V round evaluation of MONEYVAL and key steps and opportunities for stakeholder engagement.

The purpose of the event was to raise awareness of non-profit organizations on FATF standards.

More than 40 participants attended the seminar.

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