Mauritius: The need for continued collaboration between Member States and development partners such as the European Union (EU), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to consolidate actions in addressing Good Governance, Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) was emphasised, today at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava, by the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of a workshop focusing on Good Governance, Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism. The workshop, co-hosted by Mauritius and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), is being held from 26 to 30 January 2023 with the participation of representatives from around 35 countries.
The Chair of the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors and Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago to Brussels, Mr Colin Michael Connelly; the Director-General of the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA) and Representative of the European Commission (EC), Mr Martin Merlin; and the Assistant Secretary-General of the OACPS, Mrs Banata Tchale Sow, as well as other personalities were present on this occasion.
In this keynote address, Minister Seeruttun observed that the workshop would serve as a platform for sharing experiences and good practices, capacity building and cooperation agreements on tax governance and AML/CFT, as well as strengthening the dialogue between the OACPS Ministers and the EC.
The launch of an OACPS Virtual Platform for intra-ACP exchange of information on tax and money laundering and terrorist financing was also highlighted by the Minister.
Furthermore, he spoke about obstacles faced by Member States in an increasingly challenging environment with the global shockwaves of geopolitical tensions and high inflation. He also dwelt on challenges faced by Member States in receiving capital flows for development and poverty alleviation when listed on the EU List of Non-cooperative tax jurisdictions and the EU List of High-Risk Third Countries.
On this score, he urged Member States to ensure that they have both the human capacity and the necessary infrastructure to keep pace with new standards and guidelines so as to prevent such risks from materialising.
Minister Seeruttun moreover outlined the recent progress made by Mauritius with regard to AML/CFT by ticking out all the 40 FATF recommendations and successfully being delisted from the FATF grey list in 2021.
“In a spirit of brotherhood and partnership, Mauritius stands ready to share its acquired experiences with the OACPS Member Countries”, he stated. Several workshops, he added, have been organised in collaboration with the EU AML/CFT Global Facility.
As for Ambassador Connelly, he commended Mauritius for hosting the workshop, which is valuable for Member States to come up with a joint understanding in the fight against money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.
For his part, Mr Merlin reiterated the support of the EU through technical assistance so as to help countries reinforce their AML/CFT system while fostering international peace and security.
The OACPS’ Assistant Secretary-General, for her part, observed that the workshop would be beneficial for all Member States to structure dialogue in a bid to find ways to tackle good governance issues. The launch of the virtual OACPS platform will provide a better sharing of experiences among Member States so as to comply with international standards, she added.
The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States
The OACPS, founded via the Georgetown Agreement in 1975, comprises 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific States that strive to achieve the sustainable development of its members and their progressive integration into the global economy.