AG Williams gets full support from outgoing CFATF chairs

DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The executive body of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has pledged wholehearted support to the incoming Chair, Guyana’s Attorney General Basil Williams, S.C.

From left to right: Immediate past Chair and Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago Faris Al-Rawi, Incoming Chair and Attorney General of Guyana Basil Williams, Chair and Attorney General of Turks and Caicos Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, Incoming Deputy Chair and Attorney General of Barbados Adriel Brathwaite and CFATF Executive Director Calvin Wilson.

Chairperson of CFATF and AG of Turks and Caicos, Rhondalee Braithwaite, noted that AG Williams is “off to a very good start” as he prepares to take the helm of the CFATF.

“He’s not going to be left alone. This is a picture of regional cooperation to ensure the money laundering terrorist financing and weapons proliferation threat to our Region is effectively managed,” AG Braithwaite said.

The incoming and outgoing chairs held a press conference following the official opening of the 46th Plenary and Working Group meetings of the CFATF at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown today.

Immediate past Chair and AG of Trinidad and Tobago, Faris Al-Rawi, noted the importance of the work of CFATF as Guyana prepares to become an oil-producing nation. AG Al-Rawi said CFATF’s work is “most critical at this juncture…and your Attorney General is leading the way on that path”.

He commended AG Williams for his “eventual and meaningful ascendancy”. “Your Attorney General has demonstrated on behalf of the people of Guyana a sincere warmth and commitment and comradery in a way that has never been seen, in my view, before,” AG Al-Rawi noted.

Meanwhile, incoming deputy chair of the CFATF and AG of Barbados, Adriel Brathwaite, noted the CFATF’s work is critical to the Region’s crime and security agenda. “The Region can learn from CFATF in terms of what we’ve accomplished over the last couple of years by sheer will and grit but more importantly by walking the walk together,” he noted.

“Your AG here certainly in his efforts at CFATF…has over the last two and a half years or so put his hands up with vibrancy and has made a significant difference in terms of how we approach things as a Region,” AG Brathwaite said.

A proactive tenure

AG Williams, who is also the Minister of Legal Affairs, noted that the support provides institutional memory that is critical to the work of CFATF. He already has a work programme outlined for his one-year tenure.

“The whole idea is that the organisation must be proactive, it must be out there representing its members in the various FATF bodies and we must also contribute to the narrative of FATF. We must be proactive in pushing policies that should guide FATF and this Region is capable of doing that and so we’re going to focus on those things,” AG Williams said.

During his tenure as well, AG Williams will facilitate two sets of training for personnel in the justice system to ensure that Guyana is compliant with the standards of FATF as part of preparations to face mutual fourth round evaluation.

CFATF is considered one of the strongest out of the nine FATF style regional bodies (FSRB).  AG Williams will be Chair of the 25 countries that make up the CFATF.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

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