Public Finance and Trade Programme

-- New Seminar in Geneva: Redefining Leadership in the Knowledge Economy (with Free iPad mini) [Download Brochure PDF, 1.6MB][Register Now]
-- See our upcoming online courses for 2014
-- Download our Training Catalogue 
(pdf, 10MB, 40 pages)
-- Download our e-Learning Brochure in English | in Chinese
-- Calendar of Events for 2014 [Download
(pdf, 1MB, 4 pages)
-- Cursos On-line en Español para el 2014

About the 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.

Video testimonials:

Watch what our participants, partners, and course directors have to say about our online and face-to-face courses. 

Course Director and participant comments:
  UNDP-UNITAR Workshop on "Investment Promotion" for National Investment Authority, Khartoum, Sudan (17-20 February 2014)


Eric Joël Edouard Bekale-Etoughet Participant comments:
  Mr. Eric Joël Edouard Bekale-Etoughet, Permanent Mission of  Gabon, Geneva, Switzerland


John Hall Partner comments:
  Mr. John Hall, Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development (OECD), Paris, France


Prof. Stuart Cohn Course Director comments:
  Prof. Stuart Cohn, University of Florida, Florida, USA



In Focus

18 August, 2014, Geneva, Switzerland– UNITAR and the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deliver regional training for finance sector officials from WAIFEM member countries (The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) and West Africa in general with a view to develop competencies in the fields of macroeconomic, debt and financial sector management.

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The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) conducted their second regional finance and investment training workshop in Saly Portudal (Senegal). The objective of the workshop was to support for the further integration of African countries into the global economy.

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27 May, 2014, Geneva, Switzerland - UNITAR conducted a high-level briefing entitled “The WTO Bali Package: A New Hope for Multilateralism?” for trade delegates based in Geneva, especially from developing countries and Least Developed Countries. Representatives from the International Trade Centre, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the South Centre and the World Trade Organization were gathered around the table to discuss the outcomes of the decisions that were adopted during the 9th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Bali, Indonesia.

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17 - 20 February 2014, Khartoum, Sudan - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) successfully conducted the training workshop on Investment Promotion. 15 officials of the National Investment Authority (NIA) of Sudan participated in this four-day course. The main workshop objective was to strengthen the capacities of senior and middle level officials in charge of investment promotion. Read More

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December 9, 2013, Geneva, Switzerland. UNITAR’s Public Finance and Trade Programme successfully conducted the skills-building seminar on “High Performance Leadership in Times of Ambiguity, Uncertainty, and Change” at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 27 to 28 November 2013. The main goal was to equip participants with the practices and competencies required to lead effectively in a constantly evolving environment.

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Upcoming Events

Cross Cultural Negotiation (2014)

31 Mar - 02 May 2014


Public – by registration   E-learning   Chinese  open to register/apply Deadline: 4 April 2014

Fundamentals of Money Creation (2013)

15 Sep - 17 Oct 2014


Public – by registration   E-learning   English  open to register/apply Deadline: 15 September 2014

Negotiation of Financial Transactions (2014)

15 Sep - 24 Oct 2014


Public – by registration   E-learning   English  open to register/apply Deadline: 15 September 2014

Governance of Extractive Industries (2014)

25 Aug - 26 Sep 2014


Public – by registration   E-learning   English  open to register/apply Deadline: 25 August 2014

Public Funds and their Auditing (2014)

08 Sep - 10 Oct 2014


Public – by registration   E-learning   English  open to register/apply Deadline: 12 September 2014

Combating Corruption In Public Financial Management (2014)

25 Aug - 26 Sep 2014


Public – by registration   E-learning   English  open to register/apply Deadline: 29 August 2014

WTO accession and implications for agriculture in CIS countries (2014)

24 Feb - 29 Mar 2014


By application & selection   E-learning   Russian  open to register/apply Deadline: 21 February 2014

Debt Rescheduling with the Paris Club (2014)

01 Sep - 17 Oct 2014


Public – by registration   E-learning   English  open to register/apply Deadline: 1 September 2014

Millennium Development Goals and Debt Management (2014)

24 Feb - 11 Apr 2014


Public – by registration   E-learning   English  open to register/apply Deadline: 2 March 2014