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on Legal Aspects of Debt, Financial Management & Negotiation

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This brochure is meant to familiarize readers with UNITAR's training programmes in the legal aspects of debt, financial management and negotiation. It will describe the main characteristics of our workshops and seminars, our training concept and principles, it will give insight into who can benefit from our programme and how this programme can assist you at an individual and institutional level.

We also like to invite you to visit our website at www.unitar.org/dfm where you will find additional information on our resources, On-line training courses, and interesting links to other On-line resources in the field of legal aspects of debt and finance management.

UNITAR's programme of training in the legal aspects of debt, financial management and negotiation forms part of the wide range of training programmes of UNITAR in the field of diplomacy, economic and social development. The programme was developed, following a high-level expert meeting held in Geneva in 1987, to meet the priority training needs of senior and middle-level government officials in the legal aspects of debt, financial management and negotiation issues.

Goals and Objectives
The Programme aims:

  1. To create awareness among senior officers, middle-level debt and finance managers, law professors, lawyers, economists and accountants from the government of the importance of the legal aspects of debt and financial management, and proper conduct of negotiations.
  2. To provide in-depth training, skills development and follow-up to lawyers and non-lawyers in debt and financial management and negotiation, particularly in the legal aspects.
  3. To strengthen existing human resources and institutional capacities within government ministries, universities and other selected institutions to make them self-reliant in conducting their own training seminars, using local training facilities and experts.
  4. To strengthen existing ties with regional training institutes and offering joint courses with partners in Africa and elsewhere.
  5. To strengthen UNITAR's capacity to meet the training and capacity building needs of developing countries and economies in transition with use of new Information Technology.

About our Programme
To date, UNITAR has held over 100 training events in 35 countries in the field of debt, financial management and negotiation for senior and middle-level government officials. The programmes are designed to enhance the existing human resources in the fields of financial management and negotiation. Each training activity is designed to meet the specific needs of the country or region in question.

Training on the Legal Aspects of Debt, Financial Management and Negotiation for Sub-Saharan Africa
Since 1990 this programme has conducted over 50 training events, benefiting more than 1500 participants from 25 English-speaking sub-Saharan African countries. Since June 2001 UNITAR also provides training programmes for French-speaking Africa. The workshops have covered a range of issues including sources of finance, international borrowing and negotiation, debt management, understanding multilateral and bilateral loan agreements, capital and securities markets, project finance, negotiation theory and practice, privatization as well as arbitration and dispute resolution mechanisms. These training areas are chosen in consultation with partners and subsequent to feedback from government sources.

Training on the Legal Aspects of Debt, Financial Management and Negotiation for Vietnam
Subsequent to a fact-finding mission conducted by UNITAR in Vietnam, the Institute designed a training programme to address the priority training needs of senior and middle-level government officials from the government of Vietnam. Utilizing UNITAR's experience and comparative advantage in the legal aspects of debt and financial management, a series of workshops will be and have been conducted, addressed to the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the State Bank of Vietnam, the Office of the Government and other ministries, and parastatals involved in borrowing. Some of these activities will be part of an umbrella UNCTAD/UNDP/UNITAR/Ministry of Finance project designed to support the government of Vietnam in developing comprehensive and sustainable capacity to manage the external flows to the country, with a special focus on debt. UNITAR's training effort, in Vietnam is intended to focus on the legal aspects of financial negotiations, re-negotiation, accessing capital markets as well as the theories and practices of negotiation.

Partners & Collaborators

Regional Partners
Since January 1998, UNITAR has been cooperating with regional training institutes to provide training on a cost-sharing basis. Today, UNITAR cooperates with the following partner institutes in English and French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI, Arusha)
  • International Law Institute (ILI-Uganda, Kampala)
  • Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute (MEFMI, Harare)
  • Pôle-Dette (Yaoundé)
  • West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM, Lagos)

Training events are designed in collaboration with these institutes in order to join forces, enhance complementarity and avoid duplication to build capacity in Partner Countries. It also prevents UNITAR from replicating training programmes.

National Focal Points

UNITAR calls upon a team of focal points or national correspondents to help in the organizing of the workshops. These persons are usually based in the partner countries and thus advice on the debt and financial situation in the country, the set-up and nature of institutions. They also play a valuable role in raising awareness of our work through their links with government ministries and fine-tuning the selection of participants.

Resource Persons
UNITAR uses national, regional and international experts in the area of debt and financial management and law to speak at training seminars and workshops. The practical and theoretical experience of these persons has been vital in both the preparation of individual programmes and in their execution. UNITAR has made an Expert database available at our website, www.unitar.org/dfm.

For whom is the Programme intended?

Beneficiary Institutions
Target beneficiaries of the UNITAR training programme on the Legal Aspects of Debt, Financial Management and Negotiation are comprised of all the institutions involved in the borrowing process. These include the following:

  • Technical and Non-technical Ministries (Ministries of Finance, Planning, Justice, Foreign Affairs, Trade; Attorney-General's Office)
  • Central Banks
  • Parastatals and major borrowers (such as ports, railways, airlines, etc.)
  • Public and private banks including development banks
  • Trade Boards
  • Universities (faculties of law, economics, finance)
  • Parliamentarians
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Research and training Institutions and network of lawyers dealing with debt management

Participant Profile
The programme is directed at senior and middle-level government officials actively involved in the field of debt, financial management and negotiation of financial transactions, which may include formulation of a borrowing strategy, trade decisions, loan drafting and preparation of documents, loan negotiation, policy decisions and arbitration.

The participants represent different disciplines (lawyers, economists, financial experts, accountants) from the above listed institutions, keeping in view the multidisciplinary approach of the programme, which means involving both lawyers and non-lawyers to understand each other's role in the borrowing process.

Comment of a past Trainee
"This workshop was highly practically oriented. It has given me an insight into raising a negotiating team with the role each person plays and also to negotiate interests rather than positions. The resource persons, all of whom were practitioners in the realm of international finance, were highly impressive and we all benefited from their wealth of experience."-Mrs. Janet Ramatoulie Sallah-Njie Legal Advisor to the Central Bank of The Gambia.

Training strategy and programmes

Capacity building
UNITAR aims to support the further development and strengthening of existing national capacities in dealing effectively with the legal aspects of debt, financial management and negotiation. To achieve this aim UNITAR works and collaborates with regional training institutes to develop and provide training workshops and seminars in subjects relating to debt, financial management and negotiation. This collaboration, on a cost-sharing
basis, ensures complementarities in our respective training activities. UNITAR also works closely together with government ministries from partner countries to evaluate the needs of those countries before the development of each training activity. This ensures that training is provided in areas where there is a definite training need. Finally, UNITAR invokes national experts in its training programmes.

It is hoped that the IT-revolution will overcome traditional hurdles. It is with this in mind that UNITAR will also be providing on-line training courses, with close involvement of our partner training institutes. In the development of the training courses UNITAR draws on its past experience in training and research and relies on the support of its resource persons. On-line training makes it possible to reach a wide audience at less cost.

Furthermore, through the National Profile Project UNITAR assists countries to make a National Profile of the practices, procedures, and regulations, which govern the conduct of their economic and public financial managerial systems. This allows an assessment of the adequacy or appropriateness of the legal infrastructure and recommendations for improvements where needed.

Regional workshops
Most training events that UNITAR organizes are provided through regional workshops. The Institute has found that these workshops create particular opportunities for an interchange of views and experiences between experts. The emphasis on regional workshops is supported by the positive comments from both previous participants and resource persons. As part of our capacity building strategy, these regional training programmes are designed after consultation with national governments to determine the practical and priority training needs. A team of focal points, or national correspondents gives advice on the national debt and financial management situation and institutional arrangements and to help in the organizing of the workshops.

On-line Training Courses
As from January 2001, UNITAR is in the process of designing On-line training courses in the legal aspects of debt, financial management and negotiation. In the development of On-line training courses UNITAR will also rely on the involvement of partner training institutes. The idea of On-line training is to train senior, but particularly middle-level government officials by using the World Wide Web as a medium. Offering courses through technology-based training has the advantage of flexibility and easy access to materials. UNITAR will be able to offer training to a wider audience and thus reach more people, reach more countries and accelerate the training process compared to traditional training, all at less costs. You will find up to date information on our On-line courses on our website (www.unitar.org/dfm).

"A la Carte" Programmes
Upon request, UNITAR can also offer "˜à˜ la carte" training programmes. These are tailor-made training programmes designed to respond to the specific training needs of the requesting authorities and to upgrade the skills of senior and middle-level government officials in the field of debt, financial management and negotiation. The training seminars will therefore be practice-oriented. Together with the requesting authorities UNITAR determines the subjects, which needs to be addressed in the workshops. UNITAR will then take the responsibility to gather relating training materials and resource persons, who are experts in the respective subjects. In the past, country ministries and departments have requested UNITAR to set up specific workshops for their staff.

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A multidisciplinary approach, with a legal perspective
The focus on the legal aspects of most of UNITAR's training programmes on debt, financial management and negotiation stems from our use of a multidisciplinary approach in this training. In this approach a legal perspective is placed in the center, with accounting, economic, fiscal, and financial views forming the cornerstones. The dedication to this approach follows from surveys and evaluations, held in partner countries, which revealed a lack of awareness of the centrality and importance of legal procedures in debt and financial management. This lack has lead to negative effects in ability of countries to repay their debts and manage their finances adequately. UNITAR believes that good legal support plays a crucial role at every stage in the negotiation and implementation of a loan agreement and therefore it is highly desirable to include lawyers at an early stage in a government's policy-preparation for a particular loan agreement. UNITAR thus addresses a concrete training need in the legal aspects of debt and financial management in many of its partner countries.

At the same time, UNITAR fills an obvious gap, since few other training institutions provides training in the legal aspects of debt and financial management in a systematic and methodical way. Still UNITAR considers linkages and cooperation with other training institutes vital to the success and evolution of its training programmes. It is with this view that UNITAR designs joint training programmes in collaboration with local training institutes.

Diagram: UNITAR's multidisciplinary approach which emphasizes the centrality and importance of the legal aspects in the borrowing process.


Regional Workshop on the Legal Aspects of Public Debt Management
The objective of this workshop is to enhance participants' understanding of the legal
procedures and legal aspects of debt management as well as initiate a process for
reviewing the adequacy of existing regulatory frameworks for debt management.

-Current developments in international finance and their implications for debt management.
-Overview of functions of institutional arrangements and considerations for debt management.

-Regulatory frameworks for debt management.
-Identifying lessons on the global regulatory frameworks.
-Country presentations on regulatory/institutional arrangement frameworks.

Day 3
-Country presentations.
-Strengthening the enabling regulatory framework for public debt management.
-Discussions on the developments in the legislative framework.

Day 4
-The role of the lawyer in debt management transactions and legal issues in debt transactions.
-Identification of legal areas for review.
-Strategic planning in the negotiation of loan agreements.

Day 5
- Preparing a national profile to assess the national legal infrastructure for sound financial management.
-Way forward and capacity building needs
-Participants' Round Table / conclusions.

National Workshop on Drafting Specific Clauses of a Loan Agreement
The objective of this workshop is to expose participants (borrowers) to the procedures,
requirements and loan agreements of a range of creditors as well as to allow time to
understand and draft key clauses in these loan agreements.

Day 1
-Overview of developments in international finance and their implications.
-Sources of Finance/The IFIs: Focus on the World Bank and the IMF.

Day 2
-Sources of Finance (export credit agencies & bilateral aid agencies).
-International Financial Markets & International Euro-Loan Agreements.

Day 3
-Key Clauses (conditions precedent, representations and warranties, covenants,
events of default, dispute resolution).
-Drafting Exercise.

Day 4
-Key Clauses - continued.
-Simulation Exercise.

Day 5
-Simulation Exercise.
-Group Discussion.

UNITAR Publications

Document Series
To disseminate information, UNITAR has published a Document Series pertaining to currently important and relevant issues for practitioners on debt and financial management. They can be useful as a reference for both past participants of one of our training activities or other interested parties. Chapters in this series are published by UNITAR experts following a particular training event.

"Best Practices" Series
UNITAR is currently compiling a series of documents of "Best Practices" in the field of debt, financial management and negotiation. This will be made available on-line. It is hoped that these documents will offer a practical guide for government officials working in international borrowing, debt management and financial negotiations. The first document entitled: "Best Practices in the field of External Borrowing" will be out soon.

Training Packages
UNITAR has developed a user-friendly distance-learning package on debt and financial management (legal aspects). The basic idea is to have a training package that can be introduced in universities and training institutes in developing countries as part of the curriculum, as well as in government entities. Government lawyers, legal practitioners, scholars and law students can also use the packages as a reference source.

UNITAR's website offers a listing of the free downloadable documents in our 'Document Series', 'Best Practices Series' and 'Training Packages'.

Unpublished documents, presented at UNITAR workshops, and Glossaries can also be viewed on the website. www.unitar.org/dfm

Direct Impact of UNITAR's Programme in African Institutions
(Illustrative Box)

By way of illustration, following are the collated responses of beneficiary government departments and officials on the direct impact of UNITAR's Training Programme since 1990. By 'impact' we mean the extent to which the general objectives set for the training programme have translated into general development/better financial management in partner countries. The following responses were collated as part of a joint UNITAR/Donor Evaluation of the programme for the African region:

Bank of Ghana (Legal Department) - views of a team
At the Legal Department of the Bank of Ghana, thanks to UNITAR's workshops, lawyers have improved their skills to such a point that they can now give advice to line ministries relating to loan negotiation and management. Even the Governor has appreciated the impact of UNITAR's Training Programme in the legal aspects of debt and financial management and has commended the Legal Department as most active, efficient, and not delaying matters. UNITAR's training has also led the Bank of Ghana to modify its work manuals. These manuals practically serve the purpose of initiating new comers to the Bank to better understand and upgrade their knowledge of basic issues relating to their day-to-day work. These workshops have had the added advantage of showing the practical relevance of balanced teams in negotiations involving both lawyers and non-lawyers. Furthermore, presence of various delegations at UNITAR workshops had the added advantage that national ministries started talking and discussing issues, which were paradoxically not discussed or touched on in the past.

Ministry of Justice (Zimbabwe) - views of a lawyer
The subject of legal aspects of debt and financial management has never been offered at the university level in Zimbabwe. It is firstly in this respect that UNITAR' multidisciplinary approach (though the involvement of accountants, economists, and lawyers) to training has helped. Secondly, networks of lawyers created through informal contact at UNITAR workshops has also helped in keeping in touch with them and in better understanding their experiences and learning from their mistakes. Since short-term practically oriented training is very rare in the field of International Loan Agreements, UNITAR courses are highly sought after at the Ministry.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) was established in 1965 as an autonomous body within the United Nations with the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the United Nations through appropriate training and research. UNITAR is governed by a Board of Trustees and is headed by an Executive Director. The Institute is supported by voluntary contributions from governments, inter-governmental organizations, foundations and other non-governmental sources. Since July 1993, UNITAR Headquarters has been established in Geneva.

UNITAR has the following functions:

  • To conduct training programmes in multilateral diplomacy and international cooperation for diplomats accredited to the United Nations and the national officials, involved in work related to United Nations activities.
  • To carry out a wide range of training programmes in the field of social and economic development.
  • To carry out result-oriented research, in particular, research on and for
    training and to develop pedagogical materials including distance learning training packages, workbooks as well as software and video-training packages.
  • To ensure cooperation with organizations and agencies of the United Nations and with permanent missions accredited to Geneva, New York and other cities hosting United Nations institutions.
  • To establish and strengthen cooperation with faculties and academic institutions active in the fields of training for peace and security and sustainable human, social and economic development, in particular for the development of research on and for training.

On average, UNITAR designs and conducts worldwide some 125 different training programmes per year in the domain of economic, political and social development, for the benefit of more than 5500 national staff, governmental and non-governmental officials of different levels and functions and responsibilities.

See also: Activities for 2001 | 2002

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