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September 29, 1998

The Organization of American States (OAS) today signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for a pilot project to help countries fight money-laundering.

The IDB's president, Enrique Iglesias, and secretary general of the OAS, CÚsar Gaviria signed the agreement during a ceremony at the Bank's Washington headquarters. Accompanying them were senior officials of both institutions as well as Ana Chisman, the officer in charge of the Executive Secretariat of the OAS' Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).

Designed to ensure integrity in the financial markets, the 18 month project will cover private and public sector needs in those countries that have responded with legislative and administrative measures to control the serious money-laundering problems affecting them.

One of the aims of the pilot project is to provide regulators with practical training courses to promote implementation of compliance measures under their domestic laws, and promote effective application. The training programs will stress practical aspects of fulfilling obligations, record-keeping and internal auditing, by establishing effective measures to detect and report suspicious transactions.

Courses will run for two days for groups of twenty to twenty five duly selected participants who also show potential as trainers themselves. CICAD will conduct on site needs assessment in the countries before embarking on its program.

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