March 25, 2023

Ambassador Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN, said in the Security Council that terrorism and separatism are closely linked and undermine the stability and territorial integrity of states.

During Thursday’s Security Council debate on “Peace and Security in Africa: Strengthening the Fight against the Financing of Armed and Terrorist Groups through the Illegal Trade in Natural Resources,” Hilal stressed that “transnational organized crime, terrorism and separatism are closely intertwined, threaten the regional and international peace and security and undermine stability in the region.” countries and their territorial integrity.

On this occasion, during a discussion chaired by Gabonese Foreign Minister Michael Moussa-Adamo, whose country holds the rotating UN Security Council presidency in October, the Ambassador reaffirmed Morocco’s firm commitment to combating terrorism and continuing its regional and international cooperation to drain the sources of funding for the armed, terrorist and separatist groups, to promote peace and stability in Africa and around the world.

He pointed out that the illegal trade in marine and animal resources, oil and gas products, precious stones and minerals, as well as the illegal exploitation of forests and coal are common forms of financing of terrorism and armed groups in Africa, stressing the need for the international community to mobilize more urgently to preventing and suppressing these activities, and tightening the screws on these groups that are detrimental to regional and international peace and stability.

In this context, he noted that Morocco, in accordance with its international obligations and as a party to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, considers the financing of terrorism to be a serious offense in national legislation and legislation.

The Ambassador touched upon the Kingdom’s measures to combat terrorist financing, including those related to the illegal exploitation of natural resources, and reviewed a multidimensional proactive strategy that combines a holistic approach and innovative initiatives that combine legal, institutional, financial and security aspects.

In the same context, he referred to the modernization of the national field system through the establishment in 2021 of a national committee, operating under the supervision of the National Financial Information Administration, tasked with monitoring and applying sanctions imposed in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions (1373, 1267 and 1540) .

The Diplomatic Representative also stressed that Morocco, which chairs the Financial Action Task Force in the Middle East and North Africa in 2022, has prioritized, in particular, to continue the implementation of a specific work plan with the Financial Action Task Force, strengthening the foundations of governance within the group, improving the evaluation and tracking process, as well as increasing the role of the group in various international bodies and events.

Hilal also mentioned that Morocco hosted Africa’s first ninth ministerial meeting of the 84-country anti-ISIS coalition last May, with a special session on Africa that also dealt with funding-related aspects.

Among the measures taken by Morocco on the ground are the strict implementation of the Security Council sanctions regimes against the financing of terrorist activities and armed groups, and full cooperation with international bodies to strengthen the national system for combating money laundering and terrorism. financing, ensuring its compliance with the requirements of international agreements, as well as facilitating the exchange of financial information, support and exchange of experience with countries in the region that wish to do so.

On the other hand, the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations, believes that the debate in the Security Council is relevant as it takes place in the context of the ongoing suffering of the African continent from the atrocities of armed, terrorist and separatist groups, noting that these groups undermine development , prosperity, stability and integration in Africa.

Hilal stressed during the meeting, which was attended by several ministers who participated in this discussion, that the commitment of the international community and the consensus of the Security Council, based on its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as the role of regional and subsidiary organizations, is crucial for deterrence of armed and terrorist groups, especially in Africa, on the illegal exploitation of natural resources.

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