New anti-terrorist funding measures agreed

 

The world's leading financial powers have backed a comprehensive effort to combat terrorist financing around the world, calling on all nations in the IMF to implement the new measures quickly.

Protesters, meanwhile, rallied against the closed-door talks and international officials' efforts to further globalization.

The International Monetary Fund, following a similar move by the Group of 20 finance ministers meeting here, urged its 183 member countries to adopt measures to combat terrorist financing as they studied ways to revive the global economy in the wake of the September 11th attacks on the US.

"Countries are urged to take these measures (on terrorist financing) as soon as possible, preferably by February 1st," the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee said in a statement.

Each of the IMF's 183 member countries "should freeze, within its jurisdiction, the assets of terrorists and their associates, close their access to the international financial system," the statement said.

The Group of 20 - comprising the Group of Seven countries and the biggest emerging market nations - earlier endorsed an action plan to cut off terrorist financing.

"We agreed on an action plan that will enlist all of the G-20 countries in a coordinated effort to eradicate terrorist financing," said Canadian Finance Minister Mr Paul Martin, the current G-20 chair.

The G-20 ministers agreed to freeze assets of terrorists and their associates and close access to the international financial system; make public lists of terrorists whose assets are subject to freezing and the amount of frozen assets; implement relevant UN resolutions; and enhance international exchange of information through each member's newly established financial intelligence unit among other activities.

Both groups expressed interest in helping poor countries adopt these new measures, but have yet to offer specific funding.

Ministers, in adopting the action plan as part of the response to the terror attacks, also said they "are confident that the attacks of September 11th will not undermine our future economic prospects."

Meanwhile, some 2,000 protesters gathered outside the security cordon erected around the international meeting sites in downtown Ottawa, but only a few skirmishes were reported.

Police said 40 protesters were arrested over two days, and five people were injured.

Demonstrators kicked off protests Friday with a peaceful demonstration, crashed by a few militants who smashed store windows, including at a McDonald's, close to the meeting area.

AFP