In a press release issued at the end of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary Meeting, held in Paris at the premises of the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry from 20-22 October 2004, the FATF expressed full support for the new Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, which will be launched at an Inaugural Ministerial Meeting to be hosted by the Kingdom of Bahrain from 29-30 November 2004.
The President of FATF, Mr. Jean-Louis Fort, said that he looked forward to the creation of the new regional body and fully supported the initiative. It was confirmed that Mr. Fort would attend the MENAFATF Inaugural Ministerial Meeting, which will be attended by countries from the Middle East and North Africa Region and international observers.
The Kingdom of Bahrain was selected to host the MENAFATF secretariat in the margins of the FATF plenary meetings in Paris last July. The new organization will join other FATF-Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs) already existing in several regions of the world such as the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAAMLIG), the Financial Action Task Force for South America (GAFISUD), the MONEYVAL Committee of the Council of Europe (the Select Committee of experts on the evaluation of anti-money laundering measures) and the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors (OGBS). Such organizations represent important components of the global network aimed at the implementation of effective anti money laundering/counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) systems.
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 monitors members' progress in implementing necessary measures in this regard, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures and promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally.