Strengthening global governance

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda calls for reforms to the international architecture, including to ensure that international mechanisms and institutions keep pace with the increased complexity of the world and respond to the imperatives of sustainable development. The Addis Agenda builds on the Monterrey Consensus in calling for the implementation of governance reforms to ensure a more inclusive and representative international architecture.

The Addis Agenda specifically:

  • Commits to take measures to improve and enhance global economic governance to arrive at a stronger, more coherent and more inclusive and representative international architecture for sustainable development
  • Recommits to broaden and strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making and norm-setting and global economic governance
  • Commits to further governance reform in both the IMF and the World Bank to adapt to changes in the global economy
  • Invites the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and other main international regulatory standard setting bodies to continue efforts to increase the voice of developing countries in norm setting processes
  • Commits to open and transparent, gender-balanced and merit-based selection of the heads of main international financial institutions, and to enhance diversity of staff


Latest developments

Over the last two decades voting rights in the major institutions have remained relatively stable, although two of the three institutions in which countries in developing regions have the lowest voting rights have seen increases in their shares since 2015. In addition, shareholders of the World Bank agreed in principle in April 2018 to measures that will slowly increase the share of votes of developing countries by about 0.8 percentage points in two main components of the World Bank Group, the International Bank for Recovery and Development and the International Finance Corporation.

Participation of countries in developing regions in the governance of international fi­nancial institutions and regional development banks, 2000–2018             

(Percentage of voting rights or seats)

Strengthening global governance 1

Source: UN DESA.

Note: International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), African Development Bank (AfDB), Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) show percent of voting rights. Financial Stability Board (FSB) does not have voting rights, and thus data shows number of seats at the plenary. All data categorised according to the M49 classification of developed and developing regions.


A number of public and private bodies set international standards for financial regulation and supervision which countries may adopt into national frameworks. Members of these standard-setting bodies (SSBs) are usually national regulators. These institutions were generally set up by developed countries, but following the 2008 world financial and economic crisis, many of them gave developing countries a greater voice. In the Addis Agenda, Member States called for the main international SSBs to further increase the voice of developing countries in norm-setting processes, although reforms since 2015 have been minimal. Some SSBs have regional consultative committees or other mechanisms for taking input from developing countries to feed into norm-setting and/or implementation discussions, which are often held at an executive committee.

Countries in developing regions in the governance of standard-setting bodies, 2000–2018 

(Percentage of members or executive body members)

Strengthening global governance 2

Source: UN DESA.

Note: The main international SSBs include the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) for standards on banking regulation; the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for standards on combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system; the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) for standards on securities regulation; the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) for standards on insurance industry regulation and supervision; the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for accounting standards; the Basel Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure (CPMI) for standards on payment, clearing, settlement systems and related arrangements; the International Association for Deposit Insurers (IADI) for deposit insurance standards; and the International Organisation of Pensions Supervisors (IOPS) for pension regulation. Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) had no developing country members in 2000 or 2005; due to changes in governance arrangements IASB and IADI do not have data before 2005, and IOSCO and IOPS do not have data before 2010.

Read more on the progress in strengthening global governance here.

Relevant SDG indicator