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Knowledge, Wealth and Information: The Case for Global Corporate Disclosure Standards

Though the contours of corporate obligations are gradually becoming more sharply delineated, the absence of accountability and enforceability at the international level remains a major stumbling block to achieving parity between rights and obligations. This paper argues for global disclosure standards as an integral part of such accountability. It uses the pharmaceutical industry as a case study, focusing in particular on the social cost of non-disclosure. Although the contours of a generally accepted disclosure framework are identifiable, details of sector-specific disclosures remain fluid. The issues need to be articulated, the indicators defined, and the measurement protocols developed.