On 28 March, the United Nations Security Council passed a landmark resolution to suppress terror finance around the world.
The UN is hailing the new Resolution 2462 as an important step in cracking down on the growing international challenge of financial networks designed to fund militancy. The UN’s counter-terrorism chief, Vladimir Voronkov, said that the adoption comes at a “critical time,” with recent attacks demonstrating that terror groups continue to have access to both legal and illegal sources of funding.
According to the language of 2462, the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) —set up in 2017 to strengthen the organization’s ability to implement a global counter-terrorism strategy— will take the lead in identifying ways to suppress terrorist financing.
Speaking on the priorities UNOCT will have to tackle, Voronkov laid out three main objectives. The first concerns expanding the focus of the UNOCT to cover intelligence sharing, risk assessments and public-private partnerships; the second points to system-wide awareness-raising and the development of a comprehensive approach to the problem. The third priority is to work closely with the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body which sets standards for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international finance system.
Terror financing may be the central challenge of the free world in combating terror today. And it may in fact be the primary answer to the problem of violent extremism. Waging terror campaigns is expensive. Cutting off the cash flow from the organizations behind the plots can effectively nip the threat in the bud. The new resolution is particularly good news in the context of current events. As the U.S. is taking measures to stop Iran’s terror financing projects, it seems the rest of world is beginning to get on board as well.