UNCTAD welcomed a Finnish pledge of more than $770,000 (725,000 euros) over the period 2016 to 2018, saying on Monday the donation will enable technical assistance on a range of trade and development issues such as information technology, training, and gender equality.
The funding comes from Finland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs and follows a previous contribution covering 2014–2015.
"This generous support for our technical assistance follows closely on the heels of recent Finnish support for our Information Economy Report and for our eTrade for All project," UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said.
"It will make a big difference for our developing country partners and clients who receive UNCTAD technical assistance, helping them to integrate better into the global economy," he added.
"The agreement shows how Finland and UNCTAD are both committed to help developing countries meet Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals."
The Finnish contribution will support UNCTAD's work on Information and Communications Technology Policies for Development, supporting developing country governments to create up-to-date legal, institutional and policy frameworks in order that they can better participate in the information economy.
New money for work on Trade and Gender will help tackle the economic consequences of gender inequality. Through this collaboration, UNCTAD's Trade, Gender and Development Unit will customize a trade and gender course, matching it to the needs of specific regions. The project will focus on the Southern African Development Community, South-East Asia, and the Caribbean region.
"We are proud to support this work and help UNCTAD fulfill its mandate from Nairobi by reinforcing the work on the links between gender equality, women's and girls' empowerment and trade and development," said Terhi Hakala, Finland's Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva.
Financial support for the UNCTAD Virtual Institute will help it continue in its work of partnering with dozens of universities around the world to share knowledge and research on trade and development topics. The government of Finland has been co-funding the development and delivery of Virtual Institute online courses since 2007.
"We see e-commerce as a transformational opportunity for developing countries to participate in the global economy, generating jobs and trading out of poverty," Ms. Hakala said.
"We're delighted to see UNCTAD pursuing this goal vigorously and are very glad to support it," she said.