The positive role that a strong private sector could play in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals is clear. Large as well as small enterprises need to grow to effectively attain the Goals.
The growth of enterprises requires financing from both domestic and foreign sources. Reliable and globally comparable reporting on both the financial and non-financial aspects of the economic performance and financial standing of enterprises is an essential part of the global financial infrastructure.
With this in mind, Member States of the United Nations established the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting, to contribute to the global efforts aimed at promoting reliable and harmonized corporate reporting.
As the only intergovernmental body within the United Nations system tasked with carrying out such work, over the last 35 years, the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting has made significant contributions to this field.
The annual open and neutral sessions of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts bring together policy makers, regulators, standard setters, academics and other interested stakeholders.
Over the years, the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts has addressed a variety of issues, dealing with financial reporting, environmental accounting and reporting, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility, and has pioneered tackling a number of topics, particularly with respect to environmental reporting.
The Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts has also contributed to facilitating the financial inclusion of small and medium-sized enterprises by developing accounting and financial reporting guidance suitable for their needs.
In recent years, the body developed the Accounting Development Tool - now also commonly known as the ADT. The Tool has enabled a number of Member States to assess their financial and non-financial reporting requirements for enterprises and to align them with global standards and codes in an efficient and integrated manner. Key components of the Tool include the International Financial Reporting Standards and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards.
I congratulate the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting on its thirty-fifth anniversary.
It gives me great pleasure to present the 2018 volume of International Accounting and Reporting Issues, which provides a review of recent developments in Sustainable Development Goal reporting and of practical implementation aspects of both the International Financial Reporting Standards and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD