SARAJEVO, 14 July 2015 — The non-profit sector is essential to cohesive and democratic societies resilient to terrorism, yet it may be vulnerable to abuses for terrorist financing, warned experts at an OSCE-supported workshop that started today in Sarajevo.
Organized by the OSCE Transnational Threats Department in co-operation with the Global Center for Cooperative Security and in consultation with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED), the three-day event brings together nearly 70 practitioners from both relevant public authorities and non-profit organizations in South Eastern Europe.
“Terrorists fund their activities in different ways and we must be vigilant about the potential abuse of charities and other non-profit organizations,” said Ambassador Jonathan Moore, Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. “At the same time, governments should enable rather than curtail freedom of association, consistent with their OSCE commitments.”
The workshop participants will exchange experiences on how to effectively reconcile these imperatives. They will also discuss the technical aspects of the financial investigations and prosecution of suspected cases of abuse of non-profit organizations. Discussions will build on guidelines from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in particular its recently published Best Practices Paper on ‘Combating the Abuse of Non-Profit Organisations’.
“Objective risk assessment and promoting transparency in the non-profit sector are central to a balanced approach” said Jason Ipe, Director with the Global Center for Cooperative Security. “Through partnerships, governments and charities can foster good governance in the non-profit sector, which is the best bulwark against abuse. This will also enable carefully targeted regulatory interventions and enforcement measures to address suspicious situations.”
A first such regional workshop was organized in November 2014 in Bratislava for stakeholders from Central Asia and Eastern Europe.