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Debt negotiators face enormous challenges in their dealings with their creditors. They have to deal with the difficult situation and pressures created by the governance problems in their respective countries, as well as with the shortages of skilled personnel and of time to prepare for negotiations. Nevertheless, these challenges can be met if the people who participate in the negotiations and re-negotiations know the procedures, rules and regulations implemented by creditors in order to carry out these negotiations. In addition, there is a real need for debt negotiators around the world to share information and best practice on their dealings with official creditors.

This course is intended to develop the knowledge and skills of participants to negotiate with the Paris Club creditors and to allow participants and institutions to understand how best to establish strategies and tactics for these negotiations. Hands-on and practical information will be provided in this course, based on the experience of experts who have attended actual negotiation and re-negotiation sessions and meetings. This course will also provide ample opportunities for sharing of experiences and country case studies using our online discussion board facility.

Registration Status: OPEN
Deadline for Enrollment: when slots are full
Course Dates: September 5 to October 21, 2011
Estimated learning time: Minimum of 35 hours
Format: Online/Internet-based (asynchronous)
Language of Instruction: English
Fees: US $ 400/-
Helpline: UNITAR Geneva (Course Administration and Technical Questions)
  Course Objectives and Intended Audience

1. To explain through real life examples the mechanisms that a negotiation with the Paris Club implies, i.e. the meaning of each of the terms and items to be negotiated, and their specific meaning in the Paris Club context (these concepts are not bound only to legal aspects; they contain a very high element of economics and mathematics of finance that the negotiator cannot escape from).

This is the reason why this UNITAR course is presenting technical economic and mathematical topics that are of paramount importance to understand the Paris Club negotiation process along with the other elements. Needless to say, the Course Director has tried to simplify their complexity and to use very concrete and practical examples. Nevertheless it is important to urge here that the student will require a minimum knowledge of economics and mathematics in order to successfully complete this e-Learning course.

2. Once the technical aspects are dealt with, emphasis is given to the legal aspects to bear in mind during the different steps of the negotiation.

The strictly legal issues may come in play at a later stage of the process, since the Paris Club agreed minute is not a "binding contract" by law; in fact it is more a "Gentleman's Agreement" than a formal legal document. Nevertheless, the different clauses and their implications have to be clearly understood by the negotiators before reaching the formal legal issues that will arise after the Paris Club has taken place.


  • External Debt, Definition and Related Concepts
    • Debt Concepts and Definitions
    • The Algebra and Accounting of Debt Var.

  • Historical Notes on the Paris Club
    • Post World War II and the 1980s & 1990s Crisis
    • The HIPCs & the Middle-Income Countries.

  • Preparing the Negotiation
    • The Items to be Negotiated at the Paris Club
    • The Process Before Attending the Paris Club

  • Calculation Techniques and Meaning of the Present Value
    • General Concepts of Math. Fin.
    • Present Value & Debt

  • The Paris Club Rules and the Agreed Minute
    • The Paris Club Rules and Rescheduling Terms.
    • The Paris Club Agreed Minute

  • Design of a Strategy for Debt Rescheduling with the Paris Club

  • The Bilateral Agreements

  • The Swaps for Paris Club Debt
    • Debt Swaps Concepts
    • Procedures for Swaping Paris Club Debt
    • Historical Perspective of Swaps

This course is designed as an online course in which participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning. Each lesson will consist of the following components:

1) Basic Reading Materials (Compulsory Reading Materials): these materials are intended to educate the participants about the basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject-matter of the lesson. It will include, where appropriate, sample materials. These materials will constitute the required reading materials for the lesson

2) Advanced Reading Materials (Optional Reading Materials): this will consist of optional reading materials for participants who wish to learn more about the topic than what is covered in the lesson.

3) External Links: This will refer the interested participants to additional books, articles, documents, and websites that deal with the issues raised in the lesson.

4) Glossary: A glossary of terms tailored to the online course will be provided to the participants and act as a learning support during the entire course.

5) Quizzes: At the end of each lesson there will be a set of quizzes for participants to answer. These quizzes are designed to test the participant's understanding of the lesson. Participants are required to pass each quiz and obtain at least 80% or more passing grade in order to be eligible for a certificate. All quizzes will need to be taken online.

6) Community Discussion Board: There will be a community discussion board available on which participants can post questions or comments that can be seen by the instructor and the other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR. Structured discussion strings will be posted on a weekly basis.

All successful participants will be eligible to a certificate after completion of this online course.


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