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Taking stock of results and planning next actions of the project on Strengthening Anti-Money Laundering and Asset Recovery in Azerbaijan

Videoconference 16 July 2021
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© Council of Europe

© Council of Europe

The second Steering Committee meeting of the European Union and the Council of Europe Partnership for Good Governance II (PGGII) joint project on strengthening anti-money laundering and asset recovery in Azerbaijan took place on July 16, with 20 representatives from 16 national authorities. The meeting served to provide an overview of the activities implemented since the beginning of the project and present and discuss the ones envisaged in the project workplan until the end of the implementation period. It also ensured an open platform for national authorities to discuss and share their thoughts and feedback on the implemented actions, as well as to echo their needs and suggestions on future priorities to be taken into account in the development of a potential third phase of the PGG programme.

The impact of the project’s contribution was demonstrated by progress in several areas at the national level, inter alia, the development of legal amendments to introduce non-conviction-based confiscation, the improvement of institutional capacities, the increase in the number of money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF) cases, as highlighted by national partners during the meeting. Furthermore, the national authorities emphasized the importance of complementary actions requiring increased attention, which included capacity enhancement in the area of financial investigations, beneficial ownership, mutual legal assistance, application of new IT solutions for prioritisation of AML/CTF measures based on risk, development of a new stand-alone law on asset recovery and a dedicated national strategy, a separate training for judges in processing and adjudicating ML/TF cases with a specific focus on gathering and use of evidence and other relevant subjects.

The meeting offered the opportunity to continue the ongoing active dialogue with national partners, to better tailor planned activities to their needs and expectations, in order to contribute to a joint effort towards improving the national regime for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). The project activities will also help to significantly enhance the effectiveness of the application of AML/CFT measures, which will be the focus of the upcoming fifth round evaluation of Azerbaijan by the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL).

This activity was 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.