The UNCTAD Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) held its thirty-sixth annual session at the end of October 2019, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Since its establishment in October 1982 as a standing group of experts by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, ISAR has made significant contributions to global efforts aimed at promoting reliable and globally comparable reporting on both the financial and non-financial aspects of the economic performance and financial standing of enterprises.
As an open and neutral forum, ISAR has helped articulate the collective wisdom of policymakers, regulators, standard-setters, academia and other interested stakeholders on a number of critical issues to global accounting and reporting, issuing pertinent guidance materials in a pioneering manner.
ISAR is playing a defining role in making the private sector a key partner in meeting the commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. After a series of consultations and deliberations at its annual sessions, ISAR published the Guidance on Core Indicators for Entity Reporting on Contribution towards Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to support baseline, comparable reporting by companies on their performance in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals. When properly implemented, the core indicators will facilitate behavioural change from “business as usual” to considering intergenerational equity when allocating resources.
The availability of measurement tools such as the Guidance on Core Indicators will also enable a shift in resource allocation towards more sustainable modes of production.
It gives me great pleasure to present the 2019 volume of the International Accounting and Reporting Issues: 2019 Review, which contains two surveys on practical implementation of the Guidance on Core Indicators, as well as a review of recent developments on International Financial Reporting Standards and International Public Sector Accounting Standards.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD