Terrorists finance operations through transnational organized crimes: Kuwait’s envoy

NEW YORK: Kuwait has warned of the growing links between transitional organized crimes and international terrorism and called for collective international action to counter both and cut the links between them. Speaking at a special UN Security Council on threats to the international peace and security on Tuesday, Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi cautioned that that the link between organized crime and terrorism is developing, broadening and diversifying. “Terrorist groups finance their operations through transnational organized crimes (drugs, arms and human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, illicit trade in natural resources and kidnapping for ransom),” he pointed out. He noted that the phenomenon of terrorism and its links to organized crime remain a challenge for affected states and a threat to international peace and security. “Though terrorism and transnational organized crime differ in methods and objectives, they share the threat to international peace and security and pose major challenges to the affected countries, as they fuel conflicts there,” he warned.

Cementing cooperation
Otaibi underlined the need for cementing international cooperation to tackle the threat. “Today, we cannot deal with the links between international terrorism and organized crime and obstruct the activities of these groups without international and regional cooperation,” he said. He called for concerted efforts at the regional and international levels to combat corruption, money-laundering and illegal financial flows. “In this regard, we stress the importance of member states’ joining the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption, the international conventions and protocols against terrorism,” he added. The Kuwaiti envoy called for coordinating national, regional and international efforts to strengthen the global response to the links between international terrorism and transnational organized crime.
Otaibi advised member states to cement cooperation and work out joint strategies to prevent terrorists from benefiting from organized crime and build capacity of national security agencies to secure their borders against these terrorists and those who work with them. He urged beefing up national and regional legal systems to collect, analyze and exchange information. He noted that the public and private sectors in all countries had an important role to play in preventing the use of organized crime by terrorists.

Kuwait’s efforts
On Kuwait’s efforts to the overcome this challenge, Otaibi said that Kuwait understands the serious danger of this link and has recently passed a law to combat money laundering. In recognition of the grave dangers posed by the links between international terrorism and organized crime against international peace and security, Kuwait has issued a law on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism. He added that Kuwait has also acceded several international conventions for countering organized crimes and terrorism including the United Nations Convention against Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Law No. 25 of 2000), the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto (Law 5 of 2006) and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (Law No. 47 of 2006).

In 2007, Kuwait chaired Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, he said. He noted that the FATF aims to adopt and implement the FATF’s 40 recommendations, to work together to identify issues related to money laundering and terrorist financing of a regional nature, exchange experiences and develop solutions to deal with them. “In conclusion, we emphasize that organized crime can be eliminated only through a perseverance and inclusiveness approach based on the active participation and cooperation of all states and international and regional organizations,” he said. – KUNA