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The chairperson of the OSCE for North Macedonia addressed issues of corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing, and facilitating asset recovery during the regional conference on October 31.
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) chairpersonship of North Macedonia hosted a day conference to combat money laundering, corruption, and terrorist financing whilst facilitating asset recovery efforts in Southeast Europe. The conference took place with support from the Office of OSCE’s Coordinator of the Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) and the OSCE Transnational Threats Department.
The day-long conference brought together government representatives, regulatory bodies, prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, civil, judicial, and academic experts from OSCE-participating states across South-Eastern Europe.
North Macedonia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fatmire Isaki, stated, “this conference is particularly important as fighting corruption is a clear political priority for North Macedonia; fighting corruption brings our region together and proves that by working one with the other, we can do more and do better; and fighting corruption is one of the many added values that the OSCE brings to us and to our people, not least through the field operations all of our countries host.”
Whilst concerned over the rising issue of corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing, and asset recovery, she stated, “with its comprehensive approach to security, the OSCE is active in assisting participating States in combating corruption. Entering into today’s specific topic, OSCE Ministerial Council decisions have repeatedly underlined the importance of addressing the financial side of all forms of crime, preventing transfers of the proceeds of crime, and pursuing recovery of criminal assets.”
The first session of the conference started with the speeches of industry experts and regulatory representatives present. Conference participants were asked to share their experiences and takeaways regarding asset recovery methods in the area during the first session. It was preceded by an additional session on the implementation of open data and the contribution of civil society in fighting corruption in the area, as well as a discussion on increasing concerns in money laundering fueled by cryptocurrency and how to combat it.
Whilst concluding the conference, the chairpersonship’s representative on combating terrorist financing, Anita Ramasastry, stated, “the OSCE’s projects in South-Eastern Europe on asset recovery and management, open data and virtual currency have helped build lasting networks, legal reforms and innovations in the region. For example, the creation of the Balkan Asset Management Interagency Network (BAMIN) has been so successful that many other States are now joining. The Chairpersonship’s conference highlights these OSCE success stories.”