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International Codes and Standards
(Backgrounder)

Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting
Berlin, Germany, December 15 & 16, 1999

See Annex: Major International Standards Listed by Sector and Responsible Organizations

Why Are International Codes and Standards Important?

Efficient economies rely on complete and reliable information, open and transparent government policies, and a sound regulatory framework. Weaknesses in these areas have caused investors in some emerging markets to make decisions on the basis of inadequate information. And when surprised, markets tend to panic – a phenomenon that contributed to the severity of the emerging market financial crisis. Implementation of standards and codes can help reduce the susceptibility of the international financial system to financial instability.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other bodies have developed a number of codes and standards that set out "good practices" in the areas of policy transparency, data dissemination, and financial regulation and supervision. Attached is a list of the major international codes and standards.

What Is Being Done?

The most important priority for the international community, however, is to encourage and endorse the activities underway in a variety of fora to disseminate and implement these standards, especially in emerging markets. Some of the steps taken so far include:

A Role for the G20

The role of the international community in assessing the implementation of international codes and standards will be a major element on the agenda of the inaugural meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Berlin.

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Annex: Major International Standards Listed by Sector and Responsible Organizations

Public Sector – International Monetary Fund

Code of Good Practices on Transparency in Monetary and Financial Policies.
Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency
.
General Data Dissemination System
.
Special Data Dissemination Standard
.

Banking – Basle Committee on Banking Supervision

Basle Capital Accord.
Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision
.
Sound Practices for Banks’ Interactions with Highly Leveraged Institutions
.
The Supervision of Cross-Border Banking
.
Principles for the Supervision of Banks' Foreign Establishments (the Basle Concordat)
.

Securities – International Organization of Securities Commissions

Supervisory Framework for Markets.
Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation
.

Insurance – International Association of Insurance Supervisors

Insurance Supervisory Principles (Core Principles).

Corporate – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Principles of Corporate Governance.


Source: Department of Finance, Canada

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