Tackling proliferation financing has become a new priority for many countries seeking to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In many jurisdictions, existing laws that address money laundering and the financing of terrorism are being examined and extended to criminalize proliferation financing specifically.

Implementation of specific laws to address the financial aspects of counter-proliferation provides countries with the opportunity to tailor legislation that simultaneously addresses compliance with international obligations and recommendations. Most notably with UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR 1540), Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations; and various UNSCRs on DPRK and Iran.

Within this context, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) drafted Guidelines and Recommendations on Preventing Proliferation Financing, which draws together all of the above mentioned international instruments dealing with the prevention of proliferation financing and applies them to the jurisdiction of Trinidad and Tobago. On 27-28 June 2016, representatives from UNLIREC travelled to Trinidad and Tobago to present the Guidelines in a workshop that brought together experts on UNSCR1540, UN targeted sanctions, FATF recommendations, as well as experts to discuss operational practicalities concerning the regulation of proliferation financing.

The workshop in Trinidad and Tobago was the first regional event to focus on combatting proliferation financing. The reality of proliferation financing is that it costs money to manufacture, acquire, develop, export, transship, broker, transport, transfer and stockpile nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. It is therefore a key aspect linked to the detection and interdiction of proliferation attempts. Assisting countries to strengthen their legislative frameworks to regulate financial service and provision of funds for these activities is an important contribution to global counter-proliferation efforts.

Trinidad and Tobago is the first Caribbean country to intensify efforts relating to the prevention of proliferation financing. UNLIREC looks forward to working with Trinidad and Tobago as legal drafting progresses in relation to this important aspect of counter-proliferation.