CFATF Members Guatemala and Honduras in the pioneering spirit of the Honourable Allyson Maynard Gibson, current CFATF Chair, lead the way by becoming members of GAFISUD and holding dual membership in both the CFATF and GAFISUD.
The FATF in October 2013 launched a novel initiative which encourages countries that are located in the geographic, cultural or linguistic periphery of more than one FATF Style Regional Body (FSRB) to consider becoming a member of more than one FSRB.
CFATF Members Guatemala and Honduras have all accomplished that and this now opens the way for dialogue between CFATF and GAFISUD for the development of a strategy that will reinforce the mutual presence of each organization in the other, by encouraging dual membership and enhancing cooperation by holding regular joint meetings.
The new FATF policy is designed to reinforce the global AML/CFT network as it allows countries to share experiences from one body to another. In this regard this should be easily implemented as both CFATF and GAFISUD who already have mutual Observer Status have been cooperating on an operational level for several years such as jointly translating the Revised FATF Recommendations 2012 and Mr. Esteban Fullin, the current GAFISUD Executive Secretary, led the CFATF Third round Mutual Evaluation Mission to Venezuela.
The forerunner to this FATF initiative was the FATF Ad Hoc Group for the Americas which was established around 2001 after the creation of GAFISUD, as a forum where FATF members were able to meet with the Secretariats of CFATF and GAFISUD to discuss issues relating to money laundering and terrorist financing.
The first Chair of the FATF Ad Hoc Group for the Americas was Ms. Adrienne de Senna Nelson, Brazil, who was very instrumental in the establishment of close working relations between CFATF and GAFISUD and her efforts were rewarded with, among other things, the organization of a joint Terrorist Financing Typology Exercise between the CFATF and GAFISUD, on the margins of the CFATF April 2002 Plenary Meeting in Tobago.
Mr. Fernando Rosado, first GAFISUD Executive Secretary in his report on GAFISUD activities to the CFATF Tobago Plenary meeting, expressed his gratitude for the help and support that was extended by the CFATF Secretariat even before the birth of GAFSUD through the sharing of official documents which assisted with establishing the founding documents of GAFISUD.
Underscoring the message of hemispheric cooperation, Executive Secretary Rosado noted that both the CFATF and GAFISUD Secretariat were in regular conversation with each other, sharing ideas and exploring the preparation of joint plans for the future.
These future plans included an open invitation to attend and the acceptance and presence of GAFISUD Members at CFATF Plenary and Heads of CFATF Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) Forum meetings.
And at the Second CFATF Forum, FIU Heads benefited from the experiences of FIUs in South America in engendering closer co-operation and were provided with an insight into the pace of developments in that region. Additionally, CFATF FIUs were invited to an Open House at the Colombian FIU.
The long standing and constructive history of CFATF/GAFISUD co-operation continues to the present day as both CFATF Executive Director Calvin Wilson and GAFISUD Executive Secretary Esteban Fullin have fostered excellent working relations and recently jointly shared the platform as Presenters on the FATF Standards and Methodology, at an Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Workshop at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington on November 15th 2013.
CFATF Deputy Chair the Honourable Senor Luis Antonio Martinez Gonzalez, Attorney General, El Salvador has been mandated to explore with GAFISUD, the establishment of a Heads of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) Forum for the Americas, which will be modelled on the successful CFATF Heads of FIUs Forum and which is being currently considered as a model for the establishment of a similar Heads of FIUs Forum with the FATF.
GAFISUD Members are also invited to attend the CFATF Workshop on the preparation of National Risk Assessments which will be held in Honduras during January 16-17, 2014 in Honduras.
All of which augurs well for the future dialogue for the development of a CFATF/GAFISUD strategy for ongoing cooperation and support which should include a joint approach to the international donor community for funding to facilitate the participation of GAFISUD members in the three year Euros 1.2 Million project for the training of Financial Investigators, Analysts and Supervisors at Financial Intelligence Units which should commence during the second quarter of 2014.