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Nahyan bin Mubarak visits TRENDS pavilion

Nahyan bin Mubarak visits TRENDS pavilion
3 May 2024 10:09

ABU DHABI (ALETIHAD)

His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, visited the TRENDS pavilion on the third day of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak reviewed the Centre’s publications, and praised TRENDS’ efforts and active engagement in local and international cultural activities and events.

TRENDS has continued its activities at the exhibition through its AI-enhanced pavilion. A large crowd of officials, writers, researchers, media professionals and the public called on the pavilion.

Also in attendance were H.E Major General Dr. Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi , President of INTERPOL, H.E Dr. Mohammed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti, Chairman of the Cyber Security Council of the UAE Government, and H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah bin Ali Al Khalifa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United Arab Emirates.

TRENDS released its 12th book of the Encyclopedia on the Muslim Brotherhood, titled: “The Muslim Brotherhood: Rejection of Tolerance and Exclusion of Nonconformists.”

TRENDS researchers signed copies of the book at the Centre’s pavilion in the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. The audience appreciated TRENDS’ research efforts in preparing the encyclopedia, which has become a source of reference for interested researchers.

Symposium on Financing Terrorism

Academics and experts stressed that financing of terrorism poses a serious threat to global security and peace. It fuels acts of violence and extremism, hinders socio-economic development, and threatens the lives of innocent people. They called for the promotion of international cooperation to combat terrorism, and enhance community awareness on the evils of this lethal phenomenon.

These insights were expressed by experts and academics from France and the UAE in a TRENDS symposium held as part of the Centre’s events at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024. The symposium was titled: “Financing Terrorism: Development of Sources and Combatting Mechanisms.” Terrorism is “a malignant beast” in societies that must be eradicated by blocking all illicit sources of financing it, the event heard.

Global Threat

Delivering the opening remarks, Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Ali, CEO of TRENDS Research and Advisory, referred to the serious impact of terrorist financing on global security and peace. He said that the issue of terrorist financing is one of the pressing topics facing the world today.

Dr. Al-Ali called for unifying international efforts to combat financing of terrorism, and referred to the important role of research centres in tracking transnational terrorist financing networks. These centres can provide actors with information on combating terrorist financing, and raising awareness of the dangers of these illicit activities on the security and stability of societies.

Dr. Al-Ali said that TRENDS is one of the most active research centres in this field. He referred to many publications, relevant studies and events that the Centre has organised on this issue.

Refuting Terrorist Claim

Researcher Saqr Al-Sharif, Director of the Training Department at TRENDS, delivered the introductory remarks, and the discussion was moderated by researcher Abdulaziz AlShehhi, who briefed the audience on the main three topics of discussion. They included “The French Experience in Developing Monitoring Programs to Combat the Financing of Terrorism.”

The second topic addressed “The UAE Model in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT),” while the third topic focused on the “Evolution of Terrorist Financing Sources and the Advance Counterterrorism Mechanisms: Opportunities and Challenges.” AlShehhi indicated that “TRENDS Center believes in refuting false claims with credible thought, and dismantling weak arguments with clear truth”.

The French Experience

Subsequently, the symposium began with a contribution by French Senator Nathalie Goulet, guest of honour of the TRENDS pavilion at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024. She introduced the French experience in combating the financing of terrorism, and referred to the significance of international cooperation in this respect.

She spoke about the urgent need to enhance cooperation between countries in exchanging information and experiences, and developing national legislations to combat the financing of terrorism. She explained the link between terrorist financing networks and financial crime networks, which necessitates the need to track the movement of funds to undermine terrorist organisations.

Senator Goulet stressed the importance of considering terrorist financing as a top priority issue that calls for intensifying efforts to restrict the sources of financing terrorist groups under the slogan “There is no money for terrorism”. She highlighted the efficiency of the French Financial Investigation Cell (TRACFIN) and the importance of the memorandum of understanding that France recently signed with the US Financial Investigation Unit, which enhances international cooperation in this field.

Senator Goulet stressed the need to strengthen financial supervision and train stakeholders, including banks, insurance companies, tellers and crowdfunding platforms, to counter the misuse of financial instruments in terrorist financing. She said that international cooperation is an urgent requirement for this purpose.

The UAE Model

Dr. Marwan Jassim Mohammed Ibrahim, Director of the Federal Prosecution for Economic Crimes and Money Laundering in Ajman, reviewed the UAE model in the field of AML/CFT. He said that the UAE has made great achievements in this respect.

Dr. Saqr Saif bin Ahmed Al Naqbi, Attorney General of the Supreme State Security Prosecution, said that the UAE is one of the pioneer countries to build an integrated system to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

He explained that the UAE has developed a set of electronic systems, institutional and administrative procedures that ensure the implementation of the law and achieve control in line with the best international standards and practices.

He pointed to the links between money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The first is the intentional disguise of assets resulting from criminal activity to hide their illicit sources. The second one is fundraising to support terrorist activities, both of which exploit the same gaps in financial systems that allow for anonymity and non-disclosure in financial transactions.

Mr. Tariq Al-Balushi, Senior Manager - Operational Analysis Section at the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit, said that the UAE is committed to confronting, detecting and deterring money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism crimes.

This commitment is based on a clear strategy to confront money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of illegal organisations, in cooperation and coordination between all national authorities, such as law enforcement agencies and regulatory agencies.

Mr. Tariq explained that the UAE National Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organizations Committee represents one of the most important pillars in the national system to confront financial crimes, especially the financing of terrorism, as it includes many bodies representing law enforcement agencies, regulatory bodies, the Financial Information Unit and judicial bodies.

TRENDS and FAPPP

CooperationTRENDS’ activities at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair included the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with the Arab Union for Public-Private Partnership (FAPPP). The agreement shall enhance cooperation between the two sides in the fields of research and advisory studies. It facilitates the exchange of experiences and transfer of knowledge. The two sides shall organise joint events that support the sustainable development track.

The 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, kicked off on April 29, will run until May 5 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. 

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