Workshop on Targeted Financial Sanctions in Countering the Financing of Terrorism and SHERLOC

29-30 September 2020, Karachi.  The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Office Pakistan, in collaboration with the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), hosted two Workshops on Targeted Financial Sanctions in Countering the Financing of Terrorism and SHERLOC. These workshops were held under the framework of project Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) Sindh, and were made possible with support from the European Union (EU)

The first workshop was dedicated to the women anti-terrorism prosecutors of the province of Sindh. Dr Jeremy Milsom, UNODC Country Representative in his opening remarks mentioned the importance of gender equality, and commented that ‘as part of UNODCs commitment towards gender sensitive responses and gender mainstreaming technical assistance, we are pleased to be providing an equal opportunity to women prosecutors who are playing a pivotal role in countering terrorism in Sindh’. The participants for the second workshop were investigators from to the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Sindh Police.

The first half of both workshops focused on Pakistan’s national legal and institutional framework for countering the financing of terrorism, while Pakistan’s international obligations under various UNSC resolutions were presented; along with an overview of current and emerging terrorist financing threats faced internationally, followed by the United Nations response in assisting Member States.The second halves consisted of detailed presentations on Targeted Financial Sanctions (TFS,) in addition to recent legislative amendments in Pakistan, followed by an overview of UNODC’s global knowledge tool SHERLOC.

Targeted Financial Sanctions (TFS) are asset-freezing and financially prohibitive measures against terrorism adopted under the UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs). The Government of Pakistan is required to demonstrate effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions, supported by legislation, against all designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf.  Additionally, Pakistan must also demonstrate enforcement against TFS violations, including administrative and criminal penalties. The presentations delivered by Director General Counter Terrorism Financing Mr Muhammad Iqbal, NACTA and Director CT Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Kamran Taj highlighted the scope of TFS, their applicability and implementation process in Pakistan, the legislative structure, and the mechanism of monitoring TFS.

Sharing Electronic Resources and Laws on Crime (SHERLOC) is a UNODC web-based portal to facilitate the dissemination of information regarding the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the three Protocols thereto, and the international legal framework against terrorism. This knowledge management portal of legal information on organized crime and terrorism created by UNODC aims to raise awareness and serve as a practitioner’s tool to be used by police, prosecutors, and judges in the fight against terrorism. An introduction to SHERLOC, and linkages between organized crime and terrorism, was followed by practical demonstration of the portalfor the participants.

Mr Francois Zablot from the European Union noted that the workshops provided a ‘great opportunity for prosecutors and investigators to learn about targeted financial sanctions in order to apply their learnings successfully to their practice’, and he emphasized the EU’s ‘ongoing support to the Government of Pakistan for strengthening its response in countering terrorism’.

These workshops were a successful blend of virtual and in-person presentations, and were attended by 22 participants on each day.