The Kingdom of Bahrain will host the secretariat of the new Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF). The decision was made in the margins of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meetings in Paris on the 2nd of July, 2004.'
The delegation of the Kingdom of Bahrain was headed by H.E. Shaikh Ebrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance & National Economy (MOFNE) who is also the Chairman of the Bahrain Government’s Anti-Money Laundering Policy Committee. The delegation included a number of senior officials from MOFNE, the Ministry of Interior and the Bahrain Monetary Agency.
H.E. Shaikh Ebrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa referred to the choice as a vote of confidence from the international community in Bahrain’s prudential financial markets management and its administrative and regulatory competence in areas relating to banking and finance. “It comes in recognition of Bahrain’s concerted efforts along with relevant international organizations and institutions such as the FATF, the IMF and the World Bank to combat all forms of money laundering and terrorist financing,” he added.
The new regional body will apply the same standards and practices of the FATF. H.E. Shaikh Ebrahim commended the unanimous support that Bahrain’s offer to host the MENAFATF secretariat had received from the other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and other brotherly and friendly countries. He also said that an inaugural ministerial meeting of MENAFATF would be held in Bahrain during the second half of November 2004.
The FATF is an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of policies, both at national and international levels, to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. It works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.