Debt and development finance

We support effective debt management in countries as an intrinsic part of sound public financial management and overall good governance.

External debt sustainability and development

UN Report on Debt

Every year, UNCTAD prepares the United Nations Secretary-General´s report to the General Assembly on external debt, which reviews the most recent developments and analyses key issues related to the external debt of developing countries.

Some additional topics raised in the General Assembly report include the role of credit rating agencies, the need to develop an international sovereign debt workout mechanism, the risks posed by the shift towards greater accumulation of domestic debt, the need for improved data reporting, progress in debt relief initiatives, delivery of ODA.


Featured publication

External shocks and financial stress

External shocks and financial stress post the global financial crisis - UNCTAD financial conditions indicators and financial vulnerabilities in emerging markets

The objective of this paper is to measure and track financial stress in these six fragile emerging economies in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008, using UNCTAD financial conditions indicators.

The paper argues that there is a need for better tools to measure financial stress in the context of growing instabilities and complexities in international and domestic financial markets.


PSI-UNCTAD Briefs on Workers and Debt


This five-part series on sovereign and public debt examines what happens when public spending leads to indebtedness, why indebtedness of the state is perceived to be a problem, what debt means for the sovereignty of the state, and how all this impacts workers.