CPF Technical Assistance Programme

This project applies research in training key stakeholders to disrupt the illicit financial activities of proliferators such as North Korea and Iran.

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The Institute’s Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies and Proliferation and Nuclear Policy teams collaborate to identify challenges to compliance with national and international obligations in countering proliferation finance, and propose practical solutions to strengthen the application of international standards.

Proliferation financing has emerged as a matter of growing concern over the past decade. As a result, a number of tools have been designed to disrupt the underlying financial services that enable proliferators and their facilitators to procure, ship and receive illicit goods. However, the effectiveness of such tools hinges on close cooperation between government stakeholders and the private sector. Through its activities, the Counter Proliferation Financing (CPF) Technical Assistance Programme at RUSI seeks to both facilitate such cooperation and advance collective thinking in this area.

RUSI has a track record of landmark publications on proliferation financing that support this Programme, with relevance for both financial institutions and government stakeholders.

Mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Aims and objectives

The activities of proliferators can only be carried out thanks to existing sources of funding – the use of front companies, revenue-collecting activities such as illicit labour and trade, as well as the exploitation of modern financial instruments such as cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets.

The primary goal of the CPF Technical Assistance Programme is to conduct state-of-the-art research into countering the funding flow of proliferation and to transform this research into actionable solutions for jurisdictions worldwide.

We work with public-sector stakeholders – financial intelligence units (FIUs), central banks, relevant ministries and law-enforcement agencies – to improve their understanding of the international CPF regime shaped by the UN and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), identifying gaps in implementation and offering advice on improvements in the regulatory and legal regimes that govern the successful prevention of funding proliferation.

We then turn to the private sector – financial institutions, insurers, designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) and businesses dealing with virtual currencies – to make them aware of their obligations and to improve their compliance standards. Public-private partnership and cooperation between both sectors is also a key aspect of our Programme.

Project output

Access a collection of resources on counter-proliferation financing.

North Korean Proliferation Financing and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions
Annex: North Korean Proliferation Financing and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions
Assessing the Global Response to Proliferation Financing
Counter Proliferation Financing Resources

We have curated a set of articles and resources on counter proliferation financing from different perspectives and with specific focuses.

Watch the video update

Project impact

In the years since the launch of the Programme we have successfully conducted in-country and virtual training focusing on awareness raising, risk assessment methodology, the risk inherent in cryptocurrency trade, and more. Our programme has reached over 80 countries and territories worldwide.

The Guide to Conducting a National Proliferation Financing Risk Assessment is recommended to jurisdictions conducting proliferation finance risk assessments. We have also produced an interactive addition to this guidance in the form of an online tool. The Proliferation Financing Risk Exercise has been designed to help identify and address proliferation financing risks.

The RUSI Implementation Guide and Model Law was endorsed by the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), a regional body of 41 member states in the Asia-Pacific region, and our collaboration with the APG is ongoing.

We have supported governments, industry associations and the private sector globally to strengthen efforts to counter proliferation financing and we frequently present our research at international conferences and summits around the world.

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