PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
REPORT OF THE COUNCIL OF SECURITIES REGULATORS OF THE AMERICAS (COSRA) TO THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON INTER-AMERICAN SUMMITS MANAGEMENT
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS INITIATIVES FIRST COSRA REPORT - OCT 95
This report will focus on the efforts the Council of Securities Regulators of the Americas - COSRA has made aiming at the development and the progressive integration of the regional capital markets since the Summit of the Americas was held. An overview of the decisions taken during its annual meeting is presented below, followed by a detailed description of the two main issues concerning COSRA's progress in implementing the Summit's initiatives, i.e., Principles of Effective Market Oversight and Anti-Corruption Measures.
I. ANNUAL MEETING
On May 29-30, 1995, the Council of Securities Regulators of the Americas (COSRA) held its Fourth Annual Meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The highlights of the meeting were:
II. PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE MARKET OVERSIGHT
Regulators of thirteen countries have adopted principles that describe the mechanisms needed for establishing and implementing a self-regulatory system for effective market oversight, with an emphasis on the critical role of government oversight to ensure a balance between industry self interest and the public interest.
The members have also discussed the importance of the principles, particularly in light of the increasing links between the region's markets. and that regard, COSRA members have considered and adopted principles vital to accomplishing market integrity by providing a framework for the development of effective market oversight in each COSRA member's jurisdiction,
The principles call on COSRA members to:
Copy of both COSRA's Resolution of May 30 and the Principles of Effective market Oversight are provided herewith.
III. SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS ANTI-CORRUPTION MEASURES
At the Summit, the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action included a commitment to combat corruption, including the adoption of measures against bribery in international business transactions. COSRA has agreed it was important to assess efforts to undertake to combat corruption, and has agreed upon a work program in which regulators can act to implement this Summit principle.
In fact, securities regulators have an important role to play in stemming bribery, as a complement to the criminalization of such conduct, by requiring the management of publicly-held companies to be responsible for the institution and maintenance of controls to ensure that illicit payments either do not Occur or do not remain unaccounted for, because corporate accountability is essential to ensuring market integrity and investor confidence.
In this regard, COSRA held a round table discussion on October 29 focusing on reviewing current systems in each country for addressing illicit payments made by public companies. Issues discussed by COSRA members at the Roundtable included the role of internal accounting controls and auditors in deterring and detecting bribery, the need for greater cooperation among COSRA members in this area, the importance of coordinating efforts to enforce laws against illicit payments with banking regulators and criminal authorities, and the significance of being able to pierce bank secrecy laws in investigating cases involving potential illicit payments. The participants agreed to do a report to COSRA on the result of the Roundtable with a view towards preparing a Resolution on bribery for COSRA members to consider in advance of the annual meeting.
Copy of the round table discussion structure and its agenda are enclosed herewith.
Entire contents © 1998 Organization of American States, Office of Summit Follow-Up