Financial Health, Digitization for Development During COVID-19 among Issues in Focus for UNSGSA Queen Máxima at UN General Assembly

H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), will participate in a series of (in person and virtual) meetings and events during the 76th UN General Assembly held in New York.

Queen Máxima is expected to present her 2021 Annual Report as the Special Advocate to UN Secretary-General António Guterres on 23 September. The report details much of the important work the Special Advocate has engaged in over the last 12 months to advance and reinforce financial inclusion as an imperative and key enabler in building a more resilient future.

It is anticipated that the UNSGSA and Secretary-General will also discuss opportunities to further collaborate on a range of issues, such as financial health, digitization for development and equitable access to the digital economy—especially for underserved groups such as the poor, women, smallholder farmers, and micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). This also includes the role of inclusive finance in response and recovery efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 28 September, the UNSGSA will deliver opening remarks virtually at a side event for the Partnership for Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa launched under French G7 leadership. The event will be held under the title “Digital Financial Inclusion for Women in Africa: A Path to Recovery, Resilience and Innovation”. In addition to the UNSGSA, other scheduled featured participants include Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery, and Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (pre-recorded video). The event will center around the importance of collaborating across institutional boundaries to mobilize greater digital financial inclusion. To register to watch, click here.

Also on 28 September, the UNSGSA will deliver virtual closing remarks at the Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond Initiative Meeting of Heads of State and Government on Jobs and Social Protection for Poverty Eradication. Also expected to speak will be UN Secretary-General Guterres, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, International Labour Organization (ILO) Director General Guy Ryder, and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. To learn more (registration details to watch forthcoming), click here.

UNSGSA Queen Máxima last attended the UN General Assembly in person in 2019, where, notably, a special side event on Financial Inclusion for Development: Building on 10 Years of Progress was held. It was a recognition of the success in inclusive finance over the last decade, along with its importance to the 2030 Agenda. More than 350 high-level attendees were on hand for the occasion, which coincided with the 10th anniversary since Queen Máxima accepted the designation of the UNSGSA during the 2009 General Assembly.