Aug 7, 2013, 10:10 AM
The approval was among the decisions taken by the council at its 69th ordinary session held recently in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
In accordance with Article 3 (b) of the Revised Statute of GIABA, the council may grant the application for GIABA membership to any African State that demonstrates commitment to the goal of GIABA, which is to promote the implementation of acceptable international standards against money laundering and terrorist financing.
Similarly, Article 5 (1) (e) of the GIABA Statute provides that any African country may be granted observer status in GIABA.
Sao Tome and Principe had been granted GIABA’s observer status in May 2008, following the country’s application, and has been actively participating in GIABA’s activities since then.
The 16th Technical Commission/Plenary Meeting of GIABA held in Lome, Togo, in November 2011, endorsed the memorandum seeking the admission of STP into GIABA as a full member and recommended same for consideration and approval by the GIABA Ministerial Committee GMC).
The GMC at its 11th meeting held in Abidjan, the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, in May 2012, approved the admission of Sao Tome and Principe (STP) as a full member of GIABA, subject to the endorsement of the ECOWAS council of ministers, and final ratification by the Authority of Heads of State in recent time.
The 18th Technical Commission/Plenary Meeting of GIABA held in Dakar, Senegal, in November 2012 has also endorsed the application of The Comoros Islands as an observer member of GIABA and recommended same for consideration and approval by the GMC as well as the ECOWAS council of ministers, and subsequent ratification by the Authority of Heads of State, in accordance with Article 5 (ii) of the GIABA Statute. The GMC has agreed to the application of the Comoros Islands.
The new status granted to both Sao Tome and Principe and The Comoros Islands are in the spirit of promoting African solidarity and regional cooperation, as well as fostering the global objectives of the implementation of acceptable international standards against money laundering ECOWAS council of ministers Approves Membership of Sao Tome, Comoros in GIABA and terrorist financing.
The new status of the two countries in GIABA is restricted to matters relating to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) only.
While the new status does not imply membership of the ECOWAS, it grants them increased access to GIABA documents that would help them to improve on their anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes.
Touray went on to appeal to donors, NGOs, government and philanthropists to have an eco-tourism camp and this can create job opportunities for Gambian youths, in come generating avenue and improve livelihood.
Malle Jagana the CBD project manager on behalf of WWF expressed appreciation on the level of commitment of the community of Kartung in having the area designated as a protected area. One of the goals of the CBD is to increase protected area coverage to 10% and Gambia is working towards reaching that percentage because this new proposed area would definitely increase the coverage percentage.