Risk-Based Supervision for Digital Financial Services

In recent years, the growth of digital financial services, and more particularly mobile money, has been at the center of financial inclusion initiatives in various countries, notably in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Financial inclusion is featured as a prominent enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals, yet various constraints and barriers prevent eligible adults from accessing digital financial services. Policy and regulatory factors affect the environment in which these services are provided, practical barriers affect an individual’s ability to access and utilize digital financial services, and social and cultural factors affect the customer’s adoption and usage of and trust in digital financial services or its providers. This brief explores the barriers and constraints that hinder digital financial inclusion efforts in jurisdictions that have unbanked populations. It offers recommendations to policymakers and financial sector supervisors on adopting a risk-based approach that overcomes these challenges and enables expanded provision of mobile money and other digital financial services to realize financial inclusion objectives.

Following the first UN High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States in June 2018, the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) organized seven regional high-level conferences to “keep up the momentum on key counter-terrorism issues … strengthen international cooperation … [and] pro¬mote implementation of the [United Nations] Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.” To help bolster civil society engagement as part of that process, UNOCT partnered with the Global Center to organize two one-day, civil society–led workshops preceding the last two regional conferences, in Abu Dhabi on 17 December 2019 and Vienna on 10 February 2020.

This paper summarizes the key outcomes of those discussions. It highlights some of the contributions of civil society to advance implementation of the Strategy in the areas of prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation and reintegration. It identifies challenges and proposes a series of recommendations for states, intergovernmental bodies, and civil society to enhance engagement on counterterrorism and preventing violent extremism by 1) creating an enabling environment for civil society, 2) supporting its financial and organizational capacity, and 3) engaging it in relevant policy formulation and implementation processes at all levels.

As governments consider effective responses to violent extremism, they must also decide how best to deal with those who have committed acts of violent extremism, particularly with regard to their rehabilitation and reintegration. Though it is their mandate, governments cannot undertake the rehabilitation and reintegration challenge alone. Civil society organizations can be well-placed to assist with or lead on various components and should be involved in planning and implementation. This action agenda builds on a 30 month project funded by the U.S. Department of State to explore the role of civil society organizations in rehabilitation and reintegration in three broad regions: the Sahel, the Greater Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia. The action agenda offers guiding principles, recommendations, and examples to help stakeholders shape rehabilitation and reintegration practices and better incorporate the experiences and knowledge of civil society organizations.

Supreme court justices play an important role in strengthening state capacities to bring terrorists to justice within the framework of human rights and the rule of law. As final arbiters, justices seated at the highest courts of law are the nation’s safeguards of the rule of law and human rights, especially when the executive and legislative branches favor national security over these individual rights.

The report synthesizes the discussions held with supreme court justices over the course of an 18-month program in the Euro-Med region (Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa), implemented in partnership with UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and funded by the European Commission. The program aimed to create a sustainable, nonpolitical forum for supreme court-level and senior judicial officials to discuss, among equals, questions of law arising from terrorism-related cases and to share strategies, frameworks, and good practices for handling these cases over the course of five consultations. The final component of the program brought the First Presidents of the Cassation Courts of Lebanon and Tunisia, as well as other supreme court justices, to discuss their views on how the international community should respond to the threat of terrorism in an open briefing before CTED at the UN headquarters, held in March 2016.

The report is organized around priority issue areas raised by the justices over the course of the program and includes case studies, best practices, and legal commentary on possible resolutions to the common challenges they face in the adjudication of terrorism cases. It further describes a series of international and regional initiatives to support the judiciary, reflecting on the value of interjudicial exchanges in this domain.

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Les juges des Cours suprêmes jouent un rôle important dans le renforcement des capacités des états à traduire en justice les terroristes, le tout dans le respect des droits de l’homme et de l’État de droit. En tant qu’arbitres finaux, les magistrats qui siègent dans les Cours suprêmes sont souvent la dernière ligne de défense de l’État de droit et des droits de l’homme, surtout lorsque les branches exécutives et législatives du gouvernement favorisent la sécurité nationale au détriment des droits individuels.

Ce rapport offre une synthèse des discussions tenues par les hauts responsables judiciaires ayant participé dans un programme de 18 mois dans la région Euro-Med (soit l’Europe, le Moyen-Orient, et l’Afrique du Nord), en partenariat avec les experts de la Direction exécutive du Comité contre le terrorisme des Nations Unies (DECT). Ce programme, qui profite du financement de la Commission européenne, a pour objectif de créer un forum durable et apolitique pour les responsables judiciaires des Cours suprêmes et des instances supérieures, afin de débattre des questions juridiques se rapportant aux affaires liées au terrorisme et de partager les stratégies, les méthodes de travail et les bonnes pratiques relatives à la gestion de ces affaires. La dernière composante du programme a réuni les Premiers présidents des Cours de cassation du Liban et de la Tunisie, ainsi que d’autres juges des cours suprêmes, à discuter sur la manière dont la communauté internationale devrait répondre à la menace du terrorisme lors d’une réunion publique d’information pour la DECT au le siège de l’ONU, tenu en mars 2016.

Le présent rapport est structuré autour des questions prioritaires soulevées par les juges au cours du programme, dont celles se rapportant aux meilleures pratiques, aux défis, aux stratégies et aux études de cas que les juges ont trouvé intéressantes ou dignes d’être discutées et partagées à large échelle. Il contextualise les réponses législatives au terrorisme dans les juridictions représentées et commente sur les solutions potentielles aux défis communs, lesquelles se basent sur les normes juridiques et la jurisprudence existantes au niveau régional et international.

Il peut être téléchargé en français en cliquant ici.

The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Rabat Memorandum on Good Practices for Effective Counterterrorism Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector elaborates guidance on 15 good practices that promote rule of law–based criminal justice responses to terrorism. The GCTF encourages all countries to consider the memorandum as a source of guidance, and its members and partners have been working bilaterally and multilaterally to promote its implementation in national and regional contexts. This report presents the core findings of a stocktaking project. It highlights trends, challenges, and opportunities for implementing the good practices of the memorandum and for leveraging these practices to more effectively counter terrorism while promoting and protecting human rights.

Although the Global Center report highlights examples of a wide range of good practices being implemented in national jurisdictions, it calls attention to diverse legal and institutional, organizational, and operational challenges that seriously undermine rule of law–based criminal justice across all countries examined. The findings suggest that core criminal justice sector development efforts are essential for strengthening national implementation of rule of law–based criminal justice practices to counter terrorism. The report concludes with a series of cross-cutting recommendations to support the ongoing efforts of the GCTF Criminal Justice Sector and Rule of Law Working Group.

Professional, accountable and responsive criminal justice systems are essential for addressing a range of complex security challenges while safeguarding human rights and upholding the rule of law. To be effective, the entire system, from lawmakers to law enforcement officials, prosecutors, judges, and prison administrators, and other actors involved in delivering and ensuring the accountability of justice and security services, require ongoing training and capacity development. Particularly in transitional, fragile and conflict-affected countries, developing the capacity of institutions that can uphold the rule of law and protect human rights are crucial for enhancing safety and security, strengthening accountability, promoting good governance.

This report, co-authored by the Global Center’s Alistair Millar and Matthew Schwartz, outlines a series of recommendations for the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) in developing a curricula and program agenda based on the diverse needs of a multi-national and cross-regional constituency of partner countries. Once established, the IIJ will serve as a training center dedicated to strengthening criminal justice institutions, promoting regional legal cooperation, and fostering criminal justice practitioner networks based on a respect for human rights and the rule of law. The core findings and recommendations of this report are derived from a larger European Union-supported study undertaken by an expert team led by Millar under the auspices of CIVI.POL Conseil. Based on extensive desk research, seven country visits, and consolations with more than 200 stakeholders, the study assessed criminal justice-related counterterrorism capacity building and training needs in 18 focus countries across East Africa and the Horn, the Middle East and North Africa, and West Africa the Sahel.

This policy brief explores how basic principles of organizational change can help intelligence and law enforcement agencies weed out human rights abuses and build organizational cultures that promote, rather than undermine, human rights and the rule of law in their efforts to counter terrorism.

Due to geographical proximity to the Sahel, the European Union and its member states cannot ignore the consequences of political instability that already spill over their own borders, whether through migration or various forms of smuggling. This policy brief offers thoughts on improving regional counterterrorism cooperation in the Sahel and the positive role that the EU might play.

This report provides an overview of the evolving terrorism threat in North Africa and analyzes how states in the subregion working with external partners, including the United Nations, European Union, and United States, can improve subregional counterterrorism-related cooperation. In particular, the report argues that because of its universal membership and distance from the politics of the region, the United Nations can play a unique role in catalyzing this cooperation.

The report is based on a series of consultations with representatives from states in the subregion, the United Nations, and relevant regional and subregional organizations as well as nongovernmental experts. Those consultations included a meeting cohosted by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) at its headquarters in Rabat, which included counterterrorism focal points and other representatives from states in the subregion. The project builds on recommendations made at a November 2007 conference held by ISESCO, the United Nations, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the Tunisian government in Tunis.

Available in French.