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Conference: XIII Brazil Model United Nations

Committee: Counter Terrorism


Topic B: Sponsoring and Financing of Terrorist Organizations
Delegation: The United States of America
School: Escola Americana de Campinas
Delegates: Matheus Bevilacqua & Luiza Bonfim

Topic B: Dealing with the Sponsoring and Financing of Internationally


Recognized Terrorist Organizations
Financial and material resources are correctly perceived as the lifeblood of terrorist
operations, and governments have determined that fighting the financial infrastructure of
terrorist organizations is the key to their defeat. Prior to the terrorist bombings of the U.S.
embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, the issue of terrorist financing had been handled
in the context of state sponsors of terrorism. After 1998 the focus expanded to non-state
actors' activities in money laundering and criminal finance. Efforts to curtail the flow of
funds to terrorists therefore took different approaches: either pressuring states to curb their
support for terrorism or ensuring that states had the domestic capacity and incentives to
suppress transnational criminal networks. The goal of counterterrorism, therefore, should be
to constrict the environment so that it is increasingly difficult for terrorists to carry out their
plots. This includes cracking down not only on operational cells but on their logistical and
financial support networks as well. In fact, one can so constrict a terrorist group's operating
environment that it will eventually suffocate. September 11th illustrated the central role
logistical and financial support networks play in international terrorist operations. Clearly,
individuals who provide such support must be recognized as terrorists of the same caliber as
those who use that support to execute attacks.
UN Security Council Resolution 1269 (1999), signed and ratified by the United
States, was the first to use the term terrorist financing. It made clear that states harboring,
funding, aiding, or failing to adopt measures to suppress terrorism would be held accountable
for acts committed by the terrorists they sponsored. Led by the United States, the Security
Council passed Resolution 1267 in 1999 demanding sanctions on, and freezing of, the assets
of the Taliban due to their affiliation to al Qaeda. While this resolution reflected the
traditional emphasis on targeting state sponsors (the Taliban), it was the first time the Council
had recognized that a transnational terrorist group was a threat to international peace and
security. In 2000, the Security Council passed Resolution 1333, which imposed an arms
embargo and travel ban on the Taliban and began the transformation from the state sponsor
approach to a transnational, criminal finance approach. Among the many organizations
partaking in the effort to counter terrorist funding, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and World Bank played a vital role through the provision of technical assistance toward
compliance with FATF's (Financial Action Task Force) recommendations and through the
incorporation of anti-money laundering (AML) considerations in their evaluations.
The international efforts on terrorist financing have brought impressive developments
to the countering of terrorist organizations; nevertheless, it is undeniable that, in order to fully
and effectively counter terrorism, further development from the international community is
necessary. In light of ensuring international peace and security, the U.S. will resort to the
imposition of financial sanctions, and other means of containment if need be, in order to
successfully tackle terrorists and their sponsors, who are not only a threat to democracy, but
also to the international community as a whole. Denying terrorists access to their major
means of raising, laundering, and transferring funds greatly complicates their efforts in
conducting their activities. Means to do so must, therefore, serve as central components to an

effective counter terrorist policy. The United States believes that a truly effective
international effort to combat terrorist financing requires well-functioning, accountable, and
non-corrupt economies with appropriate anti-money laundering legal frameworks regulating
both the formal and informal financial/trade services. It demands an ability to enforce laws
and collect and share real-time intelligence and documentary evidence using properly trained
financial intelligence experts, criminal investigators, prosecutors, regulators, customs agents,
and bank employees. Furthermore, building the institutional capacity to combat money
laundering is the key component of fighting terrorist financing. Without developing such a
capacity, states are unable to pursue law enforcement-based approaches to combating
terrorism financing. Sustained political will is also necessary to ensure that the power granted
by legislation is matched with the capacity to implement it both within and across national
jurisdictions. This delegation believes that a comprehensive resolution that both builds upon
previous successful attempts in tackling the question of sponsoring and financing of
internationally recognized terrorist organizations and encompasses all such aspects is the
single surefire of resolving the issue at hand.