07/18/2012, 00.00
VATICAN

Vatican gains European “approval” for anti-money laundering measures

The Moneyval report positive mainly on anti-money laundering measures and calls for strengthening of supervisory measures. Msgr. Balestrero: "For the Holy See, this process is first and foremost a moral rather than a technical commitment." It is “a definitive step to lay the foundations to a structure". " Now it is our wish to fully construct a building that effectively shows the Holy See’s and Vatican City State’s desire to be a reliable partner in the international community "

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Pride in what we have accomplished, tempered by recognition of what we must still do " is the Vatican response to the conclusions of the Moneyval evaluation report on prevention money laundering and the financing of terrorism adopted by the Holy See / Vatican City State (in the picture: the headquarters of the IOR).

The opinion was expressed today by Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, undersecretary for Relations with States, as leader of the Holy See delegation at the MONEYVAL Plenary Session - The Committee of Experts of the Council of Europe for the evaluation of measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism - which has approved the first evaluation report on measures taken in these matters, by the Vatican.

"For the Holy See - said Mgr. Balestrero who gave a briefing - this process is first and foremost a moral rather than a technical commitment.  As Pope Benedict XVI stated in his 30 December, 2010 Motu Proprio, just as the rest of the international community equips itself with the tools necessary to fight these evils, it is right and good that the Holy See share in these efforts, adopting such tools "as its own" and thereby also "carrying out the mission of the Holy See".

"As the Secretariat of State clarified in requesting this evaluation, the Holy See recognizes that moral commitments must be accompanied by the technical compliance and effective implementation of the international standards necessary to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism.  Compliance and effective implementation are indeed what render moral commitments concrete. "

" In this light, the report released today is not the end, but is rather an important passage of our continuing efforts to marry moral commitments to technical excellence.We have taken a definitive step to lay the foundations to a structure - a house if you will - that is to a robust and sustainable system to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Now it is our wish to fully construct a building that effectively shows the Holy See's and Vatican City State's desire to be a reliable partner in the international community".

Specifically, the Vatican got a positive result ("broadly conforming" or "conforming") in nine of the 16 of FATF recommendations, the Financial Action Task Force especially in the field of money laundering. But questions remain to be resolved, especially regarding control structures. In particular Moneyval "calls on the Holy See to strengthen its supervisory structures."

According to Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican Press Office, Moneyval's judgment on the Vatican is "a historic moment, but there are many things to do. But the Vatican's collaboration with competent people from the outside world, represents a historical fact. Of course, it is clear from the report that much work remains to be done. "

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