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Sunday, 18 November, 2001, 08:13 GMT
IMF backs terror funds crackdown
Gordon Brown speaking at a press conference after the IMF meeting
Brown: The IMF will help "every country play its part"
UK Chancellor Gordon Brown says the International Monetary Fund has boosted the war against terror by approving measures to cut off financing for international terrorist organisations.

The measures include blocking terrorists' access to financial systems, setting up special units to track suspicious transactions and publishing lists of groups whose assets had been frozen.

IMF delegates meeting in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, also agreed a raft of measures to revive the global economy following the 11 September terrorist attacks.

Mr Brown, who chaired the meeting, called on "advanced economies" to help poorer nations survive the economic downturn by increasing development aid and debt relief.

Riot police bring down a protester
The international finance meetings have been targeted by protesters

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Brown said: "All 183 members of the IMF [have backed] the special recommendations on combating the financing of terrorism.

"We are calling on all countries to take action to ensure that financial institutions are able to report suspicious transactions."

He said the IMF had agreed to help poorer countries put the measures in place, with financial support if necessary.

The so-called G20 group - 19 of the world's richest nations and the EU - has also been meeting in Ottawa, and earlier announced its support of the UN measures.

The UN measures were drawn up before the 11 September terrorist attacks on the US.

Last week, Mr Brown said 70m of funds in the UK had been frozen, belonging to 46 organisations and 16 individuals.

Financial intelligence

After the IMF meeting, he said: "We are calling on all countries to ratify and implement the United Nations instruments to counter financial terrorism.

"We've agreed that all 183 countries should consider establishing financial intelligence units to analyse potentially suspicious transactions.

"We've agreed on the need to share information and ensure co-operation between national financial intelligence units.


The IMF should provide targeted assistance... to ensure every country can play its part and has the resources to do so

Gordon Brown

"And we've agreed that the IMF should provide targeted assistance, expert assistance, in some cases financial assistance, to ensure every country can play its part and has the resources to do so."

Mr Brown said all the measures should be implemented by 1 February, with progress reports at the April meetings of the IMF.

Earlier on Saturday every member of the G20 signed an action plan to cut off funding to terrorist groups, and said they would implement the plan as quickly as they could.

Anti-globalisation protests

The G20 comprises the G7 group of rich nations - the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada - plus Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, and the EU.

Two of these countries - Saudi Arabia and Indonesia - are Islamic states.

The international finance meetings have attracted a total of about 2,000 anti-globalisation protesters at various locations around the city.

Despite a heavy police, presence, demonstrators succeeded in smashing store windows, including those of a local McDonald's restaurant.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
UK Chancellor Gordon Brown in Ottowa
"We are calling on all countries to take action"
James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank
"The issues of poverty and development affect us domestically"
Hernando de Soto, Peruvian economist
"It is not just by throwing money that problems will be solved"
See also:

17 Nov 01 | Business
17 Nov 01 | Business
13 Nov 01 | UK Politics
08 Nov 01 | Business
15 Nov 01 | Business
08 Nov 01 | Middle East
12 Nov 01 | Americas
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