How IFAC Engages With The G20
In November 2008, at the height of the global financial crisis, Washington DC hosted the very first G20 summit. Now an annual event, the G20 summit brings together the leaders of the nineteen largest world economies, plus the European Union, to focus on the global economic issues of the day. This focus gives the G20 a unique role compared to other multilateral assemblies such as the G7, which focuses on security issues; the OECD, which focuses on global policy issues; and the United Nations.
The Business 20 (B20) started in 2010 as the official business engagement forum of the G20 and has progressed to become an institution in its own right. The B20 is the voice of business across the G20 members, and globally, and makes important policy recommendations to the G20 leadership.
IFAC and the B20 and G20
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) – the global organisation for the accountancy profession – plays a leading role as the voice of the profession in these crucial global fora.
Through the B20, IFAC has consistently been a network partner and task force member, helping to advance more specific and detailed policy points around many key global priorities, such as:
• sustainability reporting
• accrual accounting in the public sector
• the adoption of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS)
• whistle-blower protection
• a fit-for-purpose, global, anti-money-laundering policy framework
• implementing existing global commitments related to anti-corruption.
Further, IFAC has issued a G20 Call to Action on behalf of the global accountancy profession for several years, mirroring its engagement with the B20. In 2022 this focused on the interconnectivity of sustainability, public financial management and anti-corruption, and global cooperation.
It is essential that IFAC delivers its message to global policymakers on behalf of the more than 3 million professional accountants at our 180 member organizations in 130 jurisdictions. The breadth and depth of the global IFAC membership gives our voice a unique value on the global stage.
Engaging through the Covid pandemic
The IFAC message evolved during the pandemic. In 2020, for example, IFAC published its G20 Call to Action, Moving Forward, Together (available at ifac.org), recognising the conflict between the shortterm emergency of the pandemic, and the continued importance of long-term priorities.
As the pandemic continued in 2021, IFAC turned its focus to the need to actively rebuild, in order to achieve a more sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous society.
In 2022, the situation changed significantly. Acute stresses in the global economic landscape drove IFAC to broaden its consistent messaging around supporting global cooperation to include working towards conflict resolution, supporting efforts to embrace diplomacy and dialogue to resolve global conflicts.
This theme in IFAC’s 2022 G20 Call to Action set the tone for the November 2022 B20 Summit, which took place in Bali, Indonesia. The summit began with a discussion, hosted by Arsjan Rasjid, Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), of the importance of the Five Ps:
Chairman Rasjid reinforced the business message that without peace, there is no economic growth.
The B20 Summit was immediately followed by the G20 Summit, which included a number of high-level meetings, with participants including US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The G20 Summit closed with the publication of a consensus communique reiterating the interconnectivity of peace and prosperity, acknowledging the effect of security issues on the global economy while recognising that the G20 is not the ultimate forum for resolving global conflicts. The communique also recognised the valuable work of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) on consistent climate related financial disclosures that operate reliably across disclosure jurisdictions.
Looking ahead to India
India has assumed the presidency of the G20 and B20 for 2023, and IFAC is already deeply engaged in the new cycle. At a side meeting at the World Congress of Accountants, which took place in Mumbai, India in November 2022, IFAC President Asmâa Resmouki met with the former Indian G20 Sherpa and current Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and raised the importance of the global accountancy profession’s engagement in the B20. Since then, IFAC has been appointed Network Partner of the B20’s new ESG in Business Action Council, and attended the B20 Inception Event in Gandhinagar, India, on January 22-24.
IFAC looks forward to continuing its engagement with the B20 and G20 in 2023, under the Indian presidency, on behalf of the global accountancy profession.
About the author
New York City, USA
Scott is Director, Policy & Global Engagement at the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). He is responsible for coordinating IFAC’s engagement strategy with global organizations and non-accountancy stakeholders. Scott also leads IFAC’s policy and advocacy related to anticorruption, anti-money laundering and economic crime, and oversees IFAC’s engagement in donor-funded capacity building initiatives.
Scott holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago, a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and has visited over 80 countries.