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8th MENAFATF Plenary meeting, Fujairah, UAE, 10-11 November 2008
Published Date
17 Nov 2008

The Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) for combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing announced that H.E. Abdulrahim Mohamed Al Awadi, President of Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), Assistant Executive Director & Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit (AMLSCU) of the UAE chaired the 8th Plenary meeting held in Dibba, Fujairah, Hotel JAL Fujairah Resort & Spa, from 10/11/2008 to 11/11/2008 on the context of UAE’s Presidency of MENAFATF. The Technical Assistance and Typologies Working Group (TATWG) held its 7th meeting on 09/11/2008 while the Mutual Evaluation Working Group (MEWG) held its 9th meeting from 08/11/2008 to 09/11/2008, in which members discussed issues relevant to each Group's mandate.   
H.E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, Chairman of National Anti-Money Laundering Committee of the UAE inaugurated the Plenary meeting on Monday 10th November 2008.  H.E. Abdulrahim Mohamed Al Awadi, President of MENAFATF, Assistant Executive Director & Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit (AMLSCU) of the UAE, gave a speech in which he highlighted the achievement of the Group during the (4) previous years including the UAE Presidency and outlined the future vision of the Group’s activities. 
The MENAFATF plenary and its two working groups meetings were attended by delegations from member states, namely: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, Republic of Tunisia, Peoples Democratic Republic of Algeria, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Sudan, Arab Republic of Syria, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar, State of Kuwait, Republic of Lebanon, Arab Republic of Egypt, Kingdom of  Morocco, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, and the Republic of Yemen . 
The meetings were also attended by representatives of countries and regional and international organisations and institutions as Observers.  This included the Palestinian authority, United States of America, United Kingdom, Republic of France, Kingdom of Spain, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), The World Bank (WB), The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Egmont Group. 
The UAE's hosting of the MENAFATF meetings reflects its key strategy to support and enhance regional and international cooperation in combating money laundering and terrorism financing by being fully supportive of the MENAFATF's activities. 
The first day of the plenary events witnessed the discussion and adoption the discussion of the work plan and budget for 2009. The Group also issued guidelines to enhance the countries' commitment to Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations relevant to designated non-financial businesses and professions in the field of money laundering and terrorist financing, and in the same context, the group discussed the guidelines that will be issued subsequently regarding dealing with politically exposed persons (PEPs) in the same field. The Plenary discussed the work results of the Mutual Evaluation Working Group's meeting, the evaluation process and its timeline.  
The second day encompassed discussing the results of the Technical Assistance and Typologies Working Group's activities. In this regard, the Group adopted a training manual for various authorities in the field of combating money laundering and terrorist financing, which is a reference for member states in the area of training and awareness-raising.  
All member states agreed upon the accession of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Jamahiriya to the group. 
The application of the World Customs Organization (WCO) has been agreed upon as an observer at the group. 
UAE proposed to invite Maldives and Seychelles to join MENAFATF Group. The Plenary requested the secretariat to prepare a paper in this regard and the same to be submitted at the next plenary meeting. 
In the field of enhancing the relation with the FATF, it has been approved to hold a joint meeting with it. 
The Plenary has been acquainted with the important developments that emerged on AML/CFT regimes in some member states. 
The MENAFATF expressed its hope that the current international financial crisis should not affect the member states' efforts in the field of AML/CFT and the ongoing follow up of the developments of these phenomena. 
The MENAFATF reiterates its support to member states in achieving its goals, mainly to achieve compliance with international AML/CFT standards and procedures issued by the FATF in this regard, executing UN conventions as well as Security Council Resolutions in this regard. 
Then they set the dates for the next plenary to be held in Kingdom of Bahrain from 17/5/2009 to 21/5/2009 and welcomed Kingdom of Bahrain for assuming the MENAFATF Presidency for 2009.  
MENAFATF also announced that H.E. Abdulrahim Mohamed Al Awadi, MENAFATF President will inaugurate the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) Workshop which be held from 12/11/2008 to 13/11/2008 and to be attended by 50 participants from member and observer countries and organizations. 
Finally, participants expressed their thanks and gratitude to the UAE for its hospitality and to the MENAFATF's Presidency for the successful organisation of these meetings.