Safeguarding Civic Space and CFT Measures

Safeguarding Civic Space and CFT Measures

6 May 2021

Countering the Financing of Terrorism Measures While Safeguarding Civic Space
Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) rely on international humanitarian aid to carry out their mission and related activities. However, financial contributions can land in the wrong hands. There are growing concerns that money meant for NPOs is finding its way to terrorists without being noticed. While states work to develop counter measures and stricter regulations around providing funds, they face the dilemma of finding a balance between ensuring that NPOs receive the funds they need to work and preventing finances from being diverted for terrorists’ use.

To continue the dialogue on finding this balance, the Ensuring Implementation of Countering the Financing of Terrorism Measures While Safeguarding Civic Space Initiative Co-Leads—Morocco, the Netherlands and the United Nations—convened a Fourth Expert Meeting entitled “Strategic Discussion on Identified Good Practices”.

Informed by top line recommendations, this virtual meeting provided an opportunity for participants to share strategic reflections and to discuss good practices identified throughout the initiative to date. The goal was to inform and guide the development of a balanced and constructive good practice memorandum by identifying any potential gaps on the implementation of legal frameworks, risk of NPOs abuse for terrorism financing, de-risking and financial access, and fostering multi-stakeholder dialogue.

This GCTF Initiative, announced in March 2020, provided an inclusive platform to foster multi-stakeholder dialogue among counterterrorism and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) practitioners, policymakers, civil society and NPOs, humanitarian actors, private sector representatives, the United Nations, and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It intends to support national implementation of risk-based CFT measures that safeguard civic space and humanitarian action in accordance with international law, including human rights, humanitarian, and refugee law.

The outcomes of the expert meetings are being used to inform the development of a GCFT Memorandum on Good Practices on the implementation of CFT measures while safeguarding civic space. The approach adopted was to collect a set of recommendations and good practices through the first three expert meetings and to fine tune them during the fourth and final expert meeting.