Since its 18th session, ISAR has viewed reporting on corporate responsibility as one of the emerging issues in the area of corporate transparency. Within the framework of its mandate to promote harmonization of best practices in corporate reporting, ISAR agreed at its twentieth session to "begin examining existing indicators so that corporate social responsibility reports would be comparable and would not impose unreasonable burdens on enterprises in developing countries".
The work of ISAR in the area of corporate responsibility reporting takes place within a broader international context of work by other international organizations on various aspects of this subject. Such work includes the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO Tripartite Declaration, the United Nations Global Compact and the Millennium Development Goals, and the Global Reporting Initiative’s Guidelines on Sustainability Reporting, among others. The proliferation of global conventions and guidelines on CR has led to a growing general awareness of CR issues in developed and developing countries. As a result, there is increasing demand for guidance on reporting information in this area.
Environmental issues are recognized as an important feature of corporate responsibility. These issues are addressed both within ISAR´s work on CR reporting as well as its more specific work on environmental accounting and reporting
The aim of UNCTAD´s work in this area is to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition to improve their enterprises´ communication with stakeholders in order to strengthen their ability to attract investment capital and develop international business linkages. UNCTAD works towards this aim by promoting the use of comparable responsibility indicators in corporate reporting.
Also in November 2008, UNCTAD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Reporting Initiative
. This new Programme of Cooperation is aimed at promoting in developing countries and transition economies greater understanding of, and greater participation in, the processes that set internationally recognized sustainability reporting standards. The Programme of Cooperation works to foster sustainable development and facilitate investment and business linkages in developing countries and transition economies.
In partnership with member states, academic institutions, and enterprises, the UNCTAD secretariat is promoting the development of corporate responsibility indicators in annual reports through high level summits, technical workshops and research projects focused on corporate reporting. Organisations wishing to partner with UNCTAD to collaborate on research or to host a conference or workshop on corporate responsibility reporting in their country, are welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org