The Council of Europe is supporting Azerbaijani authorities in the process of performing their second national risk assessment (NRA) in the area of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
A three-day workshop (1-3 June 2021) organised by the Economic Crime and Cooperation Division of the Council of Europe provided 60 representatives of the competent authorities of Azerbaijan with methodological advice, good practices and lessons learnt for national assessments of money laundering and terrorism financing risks. The different stakeholders involved in the NRA Working Groups benefited from the Council of Europe’s international expertise to reflect on key challenges in the implementation of NRAs. The event also featured the experience of EU Member States in the process. Important issues raised during the workshop included, inter alia, data collection methods, assessment of virtual service providers as a relatively new area in the national context, assessment of Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions and Non-Profit Organisations, as well as cross-border money laundering and terrorism financing threat assessment.
The Financial Monitoring Service (national Financial Intelligence Unit), assigned as the national coordinating agency for the NRA implementation highlighted the importance of continuing to organise similar workshops for Working Group representatives as they dive into the next core steps of the process, including data collection and analysis. The Economic Crime and Cooperation Division will further support the government throughout this elaborate exercise to supplement the efficiency and depth of data collection, enhance the analysis of risks and threats and ensure the achievement of meaningful conclusions.
The main objective of this extensive endeavour is to contribute to the Azerbaijani authorities’ efforts to better identify, assess and understand their money laundering and terrorist financing threats and vulnerabilities, in order to enhance their national AML/CFT system and policies with a solid evidence base.
These activities are organised within the framework of the EU/CoE Partnership for Good Governance II Project on “Strengthening anti-money laundering and asset recovery in Azerbaijan” (PGG II-AZ) which is funded jointly by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.