Overview of APG Members
Since its establishment in 1997 the APG has been growing in membership. From its original 13 founding member jurisdictions it now consists of 42 members making it the largest FATF-style regional body (FSRB) in the world. In addition, 12 members of the APG are also members of the Financial Action Task Force, namely: Australia; Canada; India; Indonesia; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Korea; Malaysia; New Zealand; Singapore; and the United States.
In June 1998, the United Nations General Assembly in its Political Declaration and Action Plan Against Money Laundering urged jurisdictions and regions throughout the world to apply the following principles by 2003:
- Establishment of a legislative framework to criminalise the laundering of money derived from serious crimes in order to provide for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of the crime of money-laundering;
- Identification, freezing, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of crime; and
- Establishment of an effective financial and regulatory regime to deny criminals and their illicit funds access to national and international financial systems, thus preserving the integrity of financial systems worldwide and ensuring compliance with laws and other regulations against money-laundering.
Since this Declaration was issued, a number of other UN instruments, including the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention Against Corruption have added further obligations on states.
With respect to terrorist financing, in addition to the 1999 UN Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing, some significant UN Security Council Resolutions have been issued since 1997, in particular, UN Security Council Resolutions 1267 and 1373 and their successor resolutions. Those Resolutions, as well as the Convention, require countries to implement significant measures to criminalize terrorist financing, freeze terrorist funds and other property and impose sanctions against UN designated terrorist entities as well as terrorist entities of concern outside the UN list.
With respect to the financing of proliferation, all current Security Council resolutions applying targeted financial sanctions relating to the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, any future successor resolutions, and any future Security Council resolutions which impose targeted financial sanctions in the context of the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are applicable to APG member jurisdictions.
While these UN instruments are no doubt important, it is the international standards issued by the FATF which remain the key measures for APG members to implement as part of their legal, financial and law enforcement strategies to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of proliferation. Now, since its formation in 1997, almost all APG members have comprehensive laws, regulations, administrative measures and other programmes designed to counter these threats.