EU Commissioner chairs press conference at intercontinental resort Mauritius

Mauritius, Balaclava: The Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, and the European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union, Mrs Mairead McGuinness, chaired a press conference today at the InterContinental Resort Mauritius, in Balaclava.

EU Commissioner chairs press conference at intercontinental resort Mauritius
EU Commissioner chairs press conference at intercontinental resort Mauritius Image credit: Mauritius Facebook Page

Mauritius, Balaclava: The Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, and the European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union, Mrs Mairead McGuinness, chaired a press conference today at the InterContinental Resort Mauritius, in Balaclava.

The aim was to give an overview of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) Workshop on Tax Good Governance and Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), hosted by the Republic of Mauritius in a hybrid format from 26 January to 30 January 2023.

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The workshop was jointly organised by the OACPS Secretariat and the Government of Mauritius after the decision was made by the OACPS Council of Ministers at its 114th session held in June 2022, following the proposal of the OACPS Ministerial Ad Hoc Contact Group.


 

 


At the outset, the Minister thanked the OACPS members for their active participation and the Secretariat for the successful organisation of this OACPS workshop on Tax Good Governance and AML/CFT. “The presence of Mrs McGuinness is a strong signal of the willingness of the European Commission to engage into dialogues for our mutual interest,” he pointed out.

Minister Seeruttun observed that the high level of exchanges that had taken place during the last few days was really commendable and witnessed the participation of several Ministers and delegates from both OACPS and the European Union (EU).

On this score, he indicated that the workshop had a threefold objective, which, according to him, had been achieved through the solidarity and sharing of experiences and success stories of the OACPS members.

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The Minister dwelt on some initiatives taken during the seminar, including the launching of the Virtual Platform for intra-African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) exchange of information on tax and AML/CFT by the OACPS, which is a landmark project aiming at bringing every OACPS Member State on a common platform for more effective collaboration, and a high-level dialogue meeting held with Commissioner McGuinness and her team in Mauritius which provided an opportunity for the OACPS Ad Hoc Ministerial Contact Group to express their concerns and challenges, at a time when the EU is in the process of reforming its AML/CFT legal framework.

Image credit: Mauritius Facebook Page

“We have also discussed the importance of the establishment of a joint OACPS-EU mechanism for a structured partnership dialogue on tax governance and AML/CFT issues and taken good note of the position of the EU on this matter,” he stated.

“Financial crime,” Mr Seeruttun observed, “is a global issue and we are firmly committed to working together with all our partners to protect our financial services system at the national, regional and global level.”

For her part, Commissioner McGuinness reiterated the congratulations of the Minister to the OACPS members and the Secretariat for the success of the workshop on tax governance and AML/CFT. “I was highly impressed with the coordination of the ACP countries and progress which you have achieved in dealing with AML and tax,” she pointed out.

“AML,” she underscored, “affects both EU and ACP countries, and its real-life consequences are the worst possible that can be imagined, namely human trafficking, in particular of children; prostitution; illicit weapons and armament sales; and illegal drug trade.”

On this note, Mrs McGuinness indicated that the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing was a priority for the European Commission. “Organised crime is more connected and internationally active than ever before. Therefore global cooperation and multilateralism in this area are essential if we are to tackle the root causes,” she stressed.

The Commissioner emphasised that the EU and the European Commission wanted to continue working closely with the OACPS countries to address these challenges, and, in this context, we’re strengthening international cooperation by stepping up their contributions to Financial Action Task Force, in particular in their working groups.

“The EU remains firmly committed to working with our international partners and helps address deficiencies which are identified, and our offer of technical assistance through the EU Global Facility on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism remains,” she indicated.

Mrs McGuinness highlighted the common goal of OACPS members to rid the financial system of dirty money, which required utmost attention and added that they look forward to continuing cooperation with OACPS countries in this important area.