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UNCTAD releases report on corporate governance reform

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28 Mar 2011

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released 'Corporate Governance in the Wake of the Financial Crisis – Selected international views', a compilation of perspectives on the corporate governance-related causes and remedies of the global financial crisis.

Whilst many of the views expressed in the compilation are the personal views of the authors of each section, the report provides a summary of the overall 'key messages', including many regarding corporate governance in financial institutions and more generally, and shareholder rights. The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), its governance and international convergence are also mentioned, including the need for global standards of financial reporting requirements.

The messages directly relevant to financial reporting are reproduced below:

There has been a recent international convergence in thinking about corporate governance problems and remedies, which to a large extent has been driven by multilateral financial reform efforts, such as those of the G20. International standard setting bodies can promote convergence by designing principles-based guidance that is globally applicable but can be implemented in particular national and regional contexts.

Several national corporate governance reform efforts are, for the first time, using the language of 'sustainability' and 'stakeholder governance'. There is a need to transform the concept of 'sustainability' into more concrete measures of corporate performance and embed sustainability into a new model of 'stakeholder governance'.

The report can accessed on the UNCTAD website (publication ID UNCTAD/DIAE/ED/2010/2).

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