United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Public Finance and Trade Programme


UNITAR’s Public Finance and Trade Programme has more than two decades of experience in developing and delivering executive training designed to provide a competitive advantage to finance and trade professionals in today’s global economy. While traditional face-to-face training and networking activities continue, the programme has progressively introduced since 2003 new ICT-based methodologies, such as e-Learning, to offer quality and affordable training to a wider audience. To further enhance its outreach and effectiveness, the programme has established strategic partnerships with several international institutions working in relevant thematic areas, including other UN Agencies.

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.

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