Overview of the programme

The Public Finance and Trade Programme originates from the Training Programme in the Legal Aspects of Debt and Financial Management, which commenced after a high-level expert meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1987.

With the broad array of governance issues, public finance emerges as a high-priority area, particularly in light of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) Initiative and the trend towards programmatic lending. Not only is efficient and effective public spending critical to poverty reduction, but strong public finance and expenditure management in countries helps ensure that development assistance is utilized as intended.

The increasing economic and financial globalization puts international trade and intellectual property policy high on the agenda of developing countries and economies in transition. While the potential benefits of trade and intellectual property are now widely recognized, countries still face the challenge to effectively use trade and intellectual property policy to achieve sustainable development goals.

The Public Finance and Trade Programme supports developing countries, including LDCs, and economies in transition through developing the capacities of senior and middle level official, networking and fostering of best practices among government and private sector officials, and strengthening the capacity of selected local and regional institutions to provide training to their stakeholders.

While traditional training and networking activities continue, the Public Finance and Trade Programme has progressively introduced new ICT-based methodologies, such as e-Learning (online training), to offer its training to a wider audience of senior and middle level officials. To further enhance training outreach and effectiveness, the Programme has established strategic partnerships with several institutions working in relevant thematic areas, including other UN Agencies and Programmes.