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What We Do

The programme traces its roots back to the Training Programme in the Legal Aspects of Debt and Financial Management, which commenced after a high level expert meeting held in 1987 in Geneva, Switzerland. Today, it has established a global reach and reputation for expertise in delivering quality executive training in a cost effective manner.

Programme Beneficiaries

The programme draws on many years of experience in strengthening the knowledge and skills of middle- and senior-level officials from around the world. The primary beneficiaries include:

• Government and Ministry officials;
• Central Bank staff;
• Local Government officials;
• Finance and trade officials;
• Staff of financial regulatory and trade bodies;
• Academics;
• Legal professionals from the public and private sectors; and
• NGO and civil society representatives.


Thematic Focus Areas

The Programme's focus is on capacity developement of finance and trade officials in the following broad thematic areas:

Public Financial Management

Public Finance training activities strive to actively promote knowledge and understanding of financial governance, poverty reduction, debt management and prudent financial management among public officials and financial practitioners. A specific focus has been placed on the legal aspects of debt management and negotiation of financial transactions in order to assist Member States in addressing challenges relating to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as meeting their respective priorities in relation to Financing for Development.

International Trade

Through skills building and facilitating the cross-regional networking of officials and professionals in charge of trade-related issues, the Programme’s training activities contribute to bridging the knowledge gap and redressing some of the asymmetries between developed and developing countries in the role that they play in the multilateral trading system.

Intellectual Property

International debates on intellectual property (IP) are becoming increasingly focused on the need to integrate a “development dimension” into IP policy making. An ongoing process in this direction is the implementation of the “WIPO Development Agenda”. By providing flexible training and networking opportunities through new ICT-based methodologies such as e-Learning, the Programme supports countries in effectively using IP policy to achieve sustainable development goals.

Programme Objectives

The programme focuses on:

  • training government officials and other finance-related and trade stakeholders through on-line training courses with a view to tapping a wider audience and reducing cost of training per participant;
  • providing flexible skills development opportunities for senior and middle-level economists, financial experts, decision and policy makers, accountants and lawyers coming from the public and private sectors, civil society and academia;
  • providing an online forum for exchange of information and ideas to officials on themes pertaining to public finance, trade, financial governance and intellectual property;
  • developing strategic partnerships around e-Learning with institutions from the North and South;
  • and last but not least, strengthening UNITAR’s capacity to conduct online courses, not only in English, but also in French and Spanish languages.

Expected Outcomes

  • Skills building and training of government officials from English, Spanish and French speaking developing countries and economies in transition in public finance and trade-related issues.
  • Networking and fostering of best practices among government officials from developing countries through regional workshops and through use of new information and communication technology (online discussions).
  • Strengthening the capacity of selected local and regional training institutions to provide training in public finance and trade.
  • Offering quality training to a broad spectrum of officials using the innovative technology of e-Learning.
  • Addressing the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and poverty reduction agenda through training.

To date, UNITAR has held over 270 training events benefitting over 12,000 participants from more than 140 countries. These training activities provide training to senior and middle-level government officials in the field of debt, financial management and negotiation. These training programmes are designed to enhance the existing human resources in these developing nations in the fields of financial management. Each training programme or activity is designed to meet the specific needs of the country or region in question.

This training programme has drawn on the expertise and knowledge of numerous institutions and individuals who have and are working closely in debt, financial management and negotiation issues worldwide.