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Dear national standard-setters,

Welcome to the newsletter dedicated to keeping you up to date on the activities of the International Accounting Standards Board, the IFRS Interpretations Committee and the IFRS Foundation.

In this edition

  • Opening address from the new IASB Chair Andreas Barckow 
  • The upcoming 2021 World Standard-setters Virtual Conference
  • IFRS Foundation Trustees’ work on sustainability-related reporting

Opening address from the new IASB Chair Andreas Barckow 

Dear standard-setters,

On 1 July I took over the reins from Hans Hoogervorst, whose second term as Chair of the International Accounting Standards Board ended on 30 June. I appreciate the support Hans and the other Board members have provided to enable a smooth transition, and I look forward to chairing my first Board meeting later this month. I also value the many friendly messages I have received from the national standard-setters’ community upon taking on this role.

We are close to a year and a half into the pandemic and I know it’s been a challenging time for many. Therefore, I am particularly grateful for the effort put in by this community in responding to our consultations and engaging with us virtually, enabling us to continue to deliver on our work plan.

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to highlight our Third Agenda Consultation to your stakeholders and respond to this important consultation, which will close for comments on 27 September. Your input on how we should balance our activities and which projects we should prioritise will be of great help to us as we create our work plan for 2022 to 2026.

We will discuss both the effect of covid-19 on our engagement and our future work plan during the World Standard-setters Virtual Conference in September. I look forward to seeing you all again then. 

Until September, I hope you stay safe and well. 

Andreas Barckow

Chair, International Accounting Standards Board

Andreas served as President of the German standard-setter, the Accounting Standards Committee of Germany (Deutsches Rechnungslegungs Standards Committee), from 2015 to 2021. In his first interview as IASB Chair he told the IFRS Foundation that working with other standard-setters in international forums—such as the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum, International Forum of Accounting Standard-Setters, World Standard-setters and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group—has clearly been a highlight of his standard-setting work to date. 

The upcoming 2021 World Standard-setters Virtual Conference

This year the annual World Standard-setters Conference will take place online on 27–28 September.

The invitations have been sent to all national standard-setters and we await your registrations by 3 September.

At the conference national standard-setters can get an update on and discuss the IFRS Foundation’s activities. The conference will offer interactive sessions where participants can ask questions, panel discussions and virtual networking with fellow delegates and speakers. Please see the preliminary programme for further details. 

Today we published a pre-conference survey to gather information on how the covid-19 pandemic is affecting how you engage with us and with your stakeholders. At the conference, we will present a summary of the survey results. We encourage you to fill in the survey.

IFRS Foundation Trustees’ work on sustainability-related reporting

We would like to express our appreciation to those national standard-setters who have engaged with us on our sustainability work to date and those who sent a comment letter in response to the IFRS Foundation consultation on sustainability reporting. We highly value your input, which is necessary for the success of this project. 

A total of 577 organisations and individuals from around the world submitted responses. The feedback indicates growing and urgent demand for global standards and support for the creation of a sustainability standards board within the governance structure of the IFRS Foundation. The Trustees have published a comprehensive Feedback Statement that summarises the feedback and how the Trustees have responded to it. 

The IFRS Foundation has also received international support from organisations such as the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the Financial Stability Board, the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, G7 Finance Ministers and most recently G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.

To give the potential International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) a running start, we have established several working groups and committees, each with its own focus. 

Group Purpose
Trustees' Steering Committee
(Chair: Lucrezia Reichlin)
Provides strategic direction and project oversight, makes recommendations on key decisions for endorsement by full Trustees
Technical Readiness Working Group
(Chair: Michel Madelain)
Technical working group comprising CDSB, IASB, SASB/IIRC, TCFD, WEF. IOSCO and IPSASB are observers. Objective is to provide ISSB with ‘running start’.  Will engage closely with GRI & CDP
Multilateral Working Group
(Chair: Suresh Kana)
Preparatory work for building-blocks approach. Interface between preparatory work on ISSB ‘global baseline’ and other international & jurisdictional initiatives and/or stakeholders with different target audiences
Eminent Person's Group
(Chair: Jean-Claude Trichet)
Strategic advice and counsel to the Trustees

The Trustees are seeking feedback on proposed amendments to the Foundation’s Constitution to accommodate the potential formation and operation of the ISSB. The amendments include revisions to the objectives of the Foundation and the institutional arrangements for the ISSB. The consultation is open for comment until 29 July 2021. 

Decisions on establishing the ISSB are driven by demand and informed by consulting our stakeholders. Therefore, we encourage you to share your views and respond to the consultation on the proposed amendments to the Foundation’s Constitution via our website.  

Further information is available from the sustainability reporting project page. This page includes the recent speech ‘Is there a path to global sustainability standards?’ by Erkki Liikanen, Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees, and a webinar that took place on 7 July