The Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) will hold its 30th Technical Commission/Plenary Meeting in Banjul from 11th to 16th November 2018, and its 19th Ministerial Committee Meeting on 17th November 2018, respectively.
The objectives of the GIABA Plenary are: to discuss among member States, the threats and challenges associated with Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) within the region, and; to address relevant issues that require a concerted and harmonized approach to be resolved.
During the preliminary meetings in Banjul, Senegal’s Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) for the Second Round will be considered by the Evaluation and Compliance Group (ECG).
The ECG will also consider the mutual evaluation follow-up reports (FURs) of the Union of The Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Togo, Nigeria, The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.
According to the GIABA Mutual Evaluation (ME) Process and Procedures (published in 2009), the objective of the Mutual Evaluation exercise is to assess the implementation and effectiveness of the laws, regulations, mechanisms and other measures as required by international AML/CFT Standards.
It essentially seeks to verify whether all the requisite measures have been fully implemented and whether the AML/CFT regime of the assessed country is effective.
Also, the ME follow-up process provides information on the progress made by a member State, after evaluation, in meeting its obligations, as required by the FATF Recommendations.
Banjul will also be hosting a workshop on the fight against the Hezbollah’s financial activity in West Africa.
The outcomes of the meeting of the GIABA Risks, Trends and Methods Group (RTMG), the 6th meeting of the SAMWA Project, the meeting of the regional Financial Intelligence Units’ (FIU) Forum, and the meeting of the ECG, will be among the key items on the agenda of this GIABA plenary.
The Opening Ceremony, scheduled for 15th November 2018, will be attended by Gambia’s high authorities. The Director General of GIABA, Mr. Kimelabalou ABA, will also be presenting his Activity Report.
The 19th GIABA Ministerial Committee (GMC) meeting will be held in Banjul on 17th November 21018.
The GMC is the decision-making body and is made up of the three line ministries of each GIABA member State (Finance and/or Economic Development, Security/Internal Affairs and Justice).
During the meeting, the GMC will consider and adopt the Director General’s Activity Report. The consideration and adoption of the Revised Mutual Evaluation Process and Procedures, the Report of the 30th GIABA Technical Commission/Plenary Meeting, the Mutual
Evaluation Report of the Republic of Senegal, and the Memorandum on the Revised GIABA Statutes, among others, will form part of the key items for discussion at the GMC Meeting.
In retrospect, Articles 9 (iii) and 11 (i) (b) of the GIABA Statutes provide for Statutory meetings at both technical and political levels to be held at least once a year to discuss directives, activities and progress made by GIABA.
Furthermore, as a FATF-Style Regional Body (FSRB), GIABA is expected to convene a technical meeting, twice a year, with its officials and experts to analyze, monitor and identify strategies for the effective implementation of AML/CFT measures in member States.