Progress in Times of Uncertainty: G20 Call to Action 2022

A paper, posted on the IFAC Gateway November 1, 2022, points out that, “over the course of the COVID pandemic, IFAC has stressed a core set of key priorities for G20 leaders: advancing sustainability, supporting sound public financial management, resisting regulatory fragmentation and embracing global collaboration. These remain unchanged as we march toward 2030. In 2022, however, it has become clear just how important global collaboration is to achieving our goals.”

The paper then suggests beginning by making sustainability a reality – not just a goal – by:

  • Supporting and quickly implementing the International Sustainability Standards Board’s (ISSB) IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards as a comprehensive global baseline for sustainability related reporting.
  • Embracing the need to adopt realistic policies to achieve national commitments to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and support an inclusive transition to a sustainable economy.
  • Balancing the urgent focus on climate with a broader view of sustainability that includes environmental, social and governance issues.
  • Recognizing the key role that professional accountants play in creating and verifying high-quality sustainability information as enablers of sustainability and the SDGs.

Next, the call to action suggests, support public financial management and fight corruption by:

  • Supporting high-quality public financial management, continuing to enhance the professionalization of public sector finance and accounting functions, and continuing the adoption of accrual accounting at all levels of government. “These will enable governments to deliver their objectives with the resources available, while minimizing loss through waste, fraud, or corruption.”
  • Implementing and supporting global adoption of the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan and Whistleblower Protection Principles, the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Anti-Bribery Convention, and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations.
  • Recognizing the key role that professional accountants play in the fight against corruption and economic crime, and actively engaging with professional accountancy organizations as partners.

Work together for collective prosperity by:

  • Embracing diplomacy, dialogue and cooperation to resolve global conflicts and focus on long-term solutions. “The global accountancy profession stands for prosperity and sustainable development, which are best enabled by peace, justice and strong institutions.”
  • Understanding that public health in any one country is interconnected with public health globally, and recognizing that the accountancy profession’s work in supporting public financial management has significant and direct public health impacts through more effective use of funds.
  • Working to reduce and prevent regulatory fragmentation, which burdens businesses with unnecessary costs and has significant negative impacts on small- and medium sized enterprises, the engines of employment and economic growth.

“We believe that the way forward is clear,” IFAC’s call to action points out, “the need to work together to deliver a sustainable economy and society supported by transparent and accountable governments. The global accountancy profession remains committed to its part: enabling the reporting of high-quality, integrated financial and sustainability information, fighting corruption and economic crime, supporting public financial management, and helping policymakers make informed decisions.”