Minister Antti Häkkänen: International community must work harder to stop financial flows to terrorism
In order to fight terrorism we need to intervene in its financing, and international cooperation is required to achieve this, Minister of Justice Antti Häkkänen said when speaking at a high-level conference in Paris today. The conference dealt with measures to be taken by the international community to combat the financing of terrorism.
Around 80 states from all over the world and several international organisations attended the conference, which was convened by French President Emmanuel Macron.
"Criminalisation of financing of terrorism, firmly anchored in human rights, is an important and necessary means to prevent terrorist offences. However, this alone is not enough. The 80 countries from all over the world and the international organisations represented in this conference can together change the world by blocking the flow of money to terrorism. One of the most important ways to fight terrorism is to find the sources and channels of funding and then close them down as effectively as possible," Häkkänen said.
Terrorism cannot be stopped without intensifying the international cooperation. According to Häkkänen, more effective international exchange of information is required to be able to trace financial flows all the way to their final destination.
"For instance, information requests on suspected terrorist financing should be processed by all states much faster than at the moment. In addition, we need to keep up with the constantly changing operating environment. Various unofficial, often anonymous and digital money transfer services make detecting and preventing terrorist financing very challenging," Häkkänen said.
"Furthermore, we need more efficient and more extensive legal cooperation in criminal matters. Competent authorities in all states should respond to international requests for legal assistance without delay and cooperate as widely as possible. It is crucial that all countries present here today are committed to stepping up our collective efforts to fight the financing of terrorism."
"An enormous amount of work is being carried out within the European Union to create a safe living environment for ordinary citizens. I also consider it important that the EU continues to be an active global actor that strives to deepen the international cooperation to fight terrorism," Häkkänen said.