unctad.org | Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting, Twentieth session
Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting, Twentieth session
29 September - 01 October 2003

Key Issues

The last two years have witnessed the demise of mega corporations and along with them the life-time savings of many investors and employees. These events have caused the loss of not only the financial wealth of market participants but also their confidence in corporate boards of directors, chief executive officers, financial analysts, auditors and accountants. Restoring investor confidence has become a serious challenge. Some legislators responded by passing stringent laws. Others are in the process of considering appropriate measures. Developing countries and countries with economies in transition have been striving to strengthen transparency and disclosure practices in their respective markets with a view to attracting not only domestic but also foreign investors to their markets.

Over the last twenty years, the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting at UNCTAD has been promoting improved corporate disclosure and transparency. The Group has been considering corporate governance issues in a proactive manner, prior to the recent series of corporate collapses. After deliberating on transparency and disclosure requirements in corporate governance at its nineteenth session that took place in Geneva last September, the Group decided to review case studies on corporate governance disclosure requirements in selected countries at its twentieth session. Case studies have been conducted during the intersession period and the findings will be presented to the twentieth session.

The exercise is envisaged to enable the Group of experts to draw lessons learned from the case studies and identify some best practices that can be applied more widely. The Group of experts will also be deliberating on a revised model curriculum for the qualification of professional accountants that ISAR originally adopted in February 1999. The revised model curriculum is expected to contribute towards the strengthening of the accounting profession, which is one for the prerequisites for restoring investor confidence. Furthermore, the Group will also consider a study on reporting on the impact of corporations on society.



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(TD/B/COM.2/ISAR/L.7) - 07/10/2003 - 3 Pages - 17 KB
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(TD/B/COM.2/ISAR/19/Add.1) - 04/08/2003 - 17 Pages - 75 KB
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(TD/B/COM.2/ISAR/19/Add.2) - 06/08/2003 - 22 Pages - 77 KB
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(TD/B/COM.2/ISAR/19/Add.2/Corr.1) - 13/11/2003 - 1 Pages - 10 KB
Русский |
(TD/B/COM.2/ISAR/19/Add.3) - 06/08/2003 - 19 Pages - 87 KB
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(TD/B/COM.2/ISAR/18) - 21/07/2003 - 3 Pages - 26 KB
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(TD/B/COM.2/ISAR/21) - 30/07/2003 - 59 Pages - 227 KB
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The twentieth session of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) is scheduled to be held from 29 September to 1 October 2003 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, and will commence at 10 a.m. on Monday, 29 September 2003.

In accordance with the agreement reached by member States at the nineteenth session of ISAR, the topic for the main agenda item at the twentieth session is "Transparency and disclosure in corporate governance: a review of the field case studies and consideration of ISAR´s contribution to the practical tool kit for corporate governance". Case studies have been conducted, and the findings will be discussed at the twentieth session. The provisional agenda, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, will be circulated as document TD/B/COM.2/ISAR/18. A report summarizing the findings of the case studies has been prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat (TD/B/COM.2/ISAR/19). Under "Other business", additional issues such as the revision of the model curriculum for the training of professional accountants adopted by ISAR in February 1999, and emerging issues such as reporting on the impact of corporations on society, are expected to be discussed at the twentieth session.

Member States of UNCTAD are requested to submit to the UNCTAD secretariat by 1 September 2003, the names of the experts who will participate in the session. As mentioned above, the main agenda item of the twentieth session will deal with corporate governance disclosure matters, and it would therefore be beneficial for member States to send experts who have the necessary background and responsibilities in the area of corporate governance, particularly in transparency and disclosure aspects. Furthermore, in accordance with the outcome of the consultations on the review of the functioning of ISAR, on 29 October 1999, the Trade and Development Board called for greater participation by experts from all member States of UNCTAD in the work of ISAR.

United Nations bodies and programmes, specialized agencies, and intergovernmental bodies, should they wish to participate in the session, as well as non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category which wish to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by 1 September 2003.

Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badge at the UN Security Service, Villa Les Feuillantines, 13 Avenue de la Paix (close to the main entrance of the Palais on the Place des Nations, on the opposite side of the road). The security service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). It is advisable to arrive by 9 a.m. to complete procedures and reach the Meeting in good time. Walking from Villa Les Feuillantines to the E-Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais takes about 10 minutes. Participants are advised to carry a passport or similar identification document with them.

Communications concerning representation at the session should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, fax: +41(0)22 917 0056, tel: +41(0)22 917 5797; E-mail: correspondence@unctad.org. All other enquiries should be addressed to the Secretary of the meeting (tel: +41(0)22 917 4054).

Rubens Ricupero
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
6 August 2003


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