Table of Contents

  • Member States have long recognized the critical importance of the private sector in attaining economic and social development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. The productive capacity of the private sector has a direct bearing on the kinds of goods and services that a country can make available for domestic consumption as well as for international trade. To do this in a sustainable manner, a vibrant private sector needs access to sufficient financial resources at a reasonable cost. Reliable and comparable corporate reports facilitate the mobilization of domestic and international financial resources and foster investor confidence.

  • This volume contains a review of the main developments in the area of accounting and reporting, and the proceedings of the twenty-seventh session of ISAR, which was held in Geneva at the Palais des Nations from 13 to 15 October 2010. The session was well attended by delegates representing regulators, standard-setters, the private sector, academia and a number of regional and other international organizations.

  • For close to three decades, ISAR has been working towards promoting more reliable and comparable corporate reporting. Part of the activities that it has been undertaking with a view to attaining this objective includes reviewing developments in accounting and reporting. This chapter presents the highlights of major international, regional and national developments in accounting and reporting that occurred during the intersessional period of ISAR. The developments covered in this chapter were compiled on the basis of publicly available information only. Thus, the study is limited in scope and does not cover developments in all member States. The first section of the chapter discusses international developments covering institutions such as the Group of Twenty (G-20), the Financial Stability Board, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation and IASB. The second section discusses regional and national developments that have implications for the international convergence of accounting standards.

  • The secretariat introduced this agenda item, explaining that a consultative group had been set up to work on this issue during the intersessional period. The consultative group had held a meeting in May 2010 in Geneva to discuss a draft note prepared by the secretariat on the capacity-building framework for high-quality corporate reporting. After the meeting, UNCTAD had provided a revised version of the document, and the consultative group had added further comments to it. The final version of the document (TD/C.II/ISAR/56) and the addendum to it (TB/C.II/ISAR/56/Add.1) were made available to all participants. These documents dealt with the main elements to be considered when building national capacity in corporate reporting. The secretariat drew participants’ attention to the use of the term “corporate reporting”, explaining that, in this case, the term included both financial and non-financial reporting.

  • The UNCTAD secretariat presented its 2010 corporate governance disclosure review, which this year provided an assessment of the status of disclosure requirements of enterprises listed on stock exchanges in 21 frontier markets. The paper pointed out that in frontier markets, there were fewer disclosure requirements in place than in larger emerging markets or developed countries. During the discussions, one delegate requested additional information on the research conducted on regulatory requirements in his country; the secretariat highlighted the sources of references, and also proposed to all delegates the option of conducting individual country case studies, wherever possible. Several delegates commented on the useful findings that the report provided and the relevance of the topic. A delegate from an institute of directors noted that research on this subject had been carried out in his country too, and he shared some findings of this research with the group.