UNSGSA -UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development

Key UN reports pave the way for inclusive finance in the post-2015 development agenda

In his milestone report “A Life of Dignity for All” issued today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon outlines his vision for accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and priorities for the future development agenda once the MDGs reach their target date of 2015. Queen Máxima welcomed the report’s references to the importance of inclusive economies and to the role of financial services in overcoming exclusion and inequality, in the empowerment of women and girls, and in achieving inclusive, sustainable growth and decent employment.

The Secretary-General’s report follows similar recognition by his High Level Panel (HLP) of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda in their own report, which states, “There are some essential elements we know work across countries and regions….Financial services are critical to the growth of business, but also raise the income of individuals.” The Panel’s report identifies inclusive finance as an enabler in illustrative goals on ending poverty, empowering girls and women, and creating jobs, sustainable livelihoods and equitable growth, and recommends a target for universal access.

The UNSGSA was an early and strong voice in the UN-led dialogue to identify development priorities once the MDGs reach their target date of 2015—an agenda that will shape action for years to come. She maintains active dialogue with the UN Secretary-General and UN agencies, national leaders and many others about the role inclusive finance plays in accelerating progress toward a variety of development goals such as health, education, access to water, and increase job creation, equitable growth and incomes, including by empowering women and building resilience.

Both reports recognize that setting global goals can be a powerful way of mobilizing common action – a success factor in the advancement of the MDGs over the past decade. As the process to set a post-2015 development agenda unfolds, the UNSGSA will encourage leaders from countries, development agencies, the private sector and civil society to endorse a global aspirational goal for universal access to financial services by all households and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), backed by an ambitious time bound target that reflects the levels of aspiration some countries have already set.