Opening of the 31st Plenary Meeting
For the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force “MENAFATF”
Concerning Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism “AML/CFT”
17-19 November 2020
The MENAFATF 31st Plenary meeting concerning AML/CFT was opened on Tuesday morning, 17 November 2020, which was held "Virtually", chaired by Counselor Ahmed Said Hussein Khalil – MEANFATF President, Vice President of the Court of Cassation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Egyptian Financial Intelligence Unit “FIU”.
The meeting was attended by AML/CFT experts from the member countries, as well as experts from some countries and bodies occupying observer status at the MEANFATF.
It is worth noting that the Plenary Meeting comes within the framework of the MENAFATF week, as the Plenary Meeting was preceded by meetings of Mutual Evaluation Working Group “MEWG” and Technical Assistance and Typologies Working Group “TATWG” during the period 8-10 November 2020, whilst the Plenary Meeting was held over three days from 17 to 19 November 2020.
The three days Plenary meeting dealt with a number of topics on its agenda, the most important of which was the discussion of the Action Plan, in cooperation with FATF, which aimed to increase the effectiveness of the MENAFATF's performance, and the discussion of enhanced follow-up reports “EFURs” for both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, which includes a request to re-evaluate some of technical Compliance “TC” ratings with regards to some recommendations, as well as discussion of the Tunisian report, which included a request to join the regular follow-up process. With regards to the follow-up on voluntary tax compliance “VTC” programs for member countries, the Plenary Meeting discussed and approved the update to the VTC program for both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Tunisia, and the Plenary Meeting approved the Technical Assistance Matrix to member countries and the revised training plan for the years 2020-2021.
The Plenary Meeting also touched on the MENAFATF’s relationship with international and regional bodies and organizations working in the field of AML/CFT and the existing and future cooperation therewith, such as FATF, in addition to considering some working papers related to the evaluation process in the second round, financing plans and other organizational and administrative issues.
These meetings came within the framework of uniting regional and international efforts in the Middle East and North Africa region with regards to AML and the associated predicate offences, as well as CFT and Proliferation in order to protect the economic, social and political systems from the risks of these crimes.