What does ISAR stand for?

ISAR is the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting, the United Nations focal point on accounting and corporate governance matters. It was established in 1982 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Through its Division on Investment and Enterprise, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) serves as ISAR’s secretariat, providing substantive and administrative inputs to its activities.

What are ISAR’s mandates?

UNCTAD-ISAR assists member States in their efforts towards implementation of international standards, codes and best practices to promote harmonization and improvement of quality of enterprise reporting to facilitate financial stability, international and domestic investment, social and economic progress. It achieves these objectives by facilitating the exchange of views and best practices, building consensus, developing guidance documents, and providing technical assistance on issues related to both financial and sustainability/SDG reporting. This work is conducted through the annual sessions of ISAR, as well as associated workshops and roundtables, research and capacity building activities. Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, ISAR focuses on harmonization of companies reporting on their contribution to the SDG implementation.

In addition to its main yearly sessions in Geneva, ISAR and its secretariat engage in year-long research and technical cooperation. ISAR is currently welcoming applications for formal membership in the Group of Experts.

Many challenges still lie ahead in the area of accounting and reporting. Building an efficient accounting and reporting system requires the development of appropriate policies and regulations, a strong institutional base and adequate resources. – Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UNCTAD