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


As UNSGSA, Queen Máxima shares experiences across countries and connects people and institutions through speeches and published articles in addition to her meetings with national and global leaders. Through her speeches and published work, Queen Máxima has been an active and passionate voice for financial inclusion.

Diverse financial services


4th International Insurance Conference
Amsterdam, the Netherlands At the largest convening of insurance and re-insurance companies globally, Queen Máxima said that unexpected events such as floods or the death of an income earner can cause poor families to suffer long-term financial setbacks.  They often have to sell productive assets, take children out of school, or take out expensive loans.  She challenged the audience to help create an insurance market that is inclusive, sustainable, and protects people against these eventualities.   Full text


A Better Life for Every Tanzanian: Accelerating Development and Growth through Financial Inclusion
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania At the launch of Tanzania’s National Financial Inclusion Framework, the UNSGSA recognized the importance of governmental leadership the link to the country’s overall economic development goals. She applauded the ambitious aim to include 50% of the population in formal financial services by 2015, and pointed to the rapid progress that has been made, especially in mobile financial services, that make this target a reality. The national framework will involve all stakeholders in its first three-year phase with a focus on tackling fundamental barriers of high costs, far distances, and asymmetries of information - which the UNSGSA said will open new opportunities for service providers. She encouraged the country to redouble its efforts on finding innovative ways to meet the needs of Tanzania’s small holder farmers, responsible for the bulk of the country’s food production and GDP. Full text


Access to Finance Project Launch
Istanbul, Turkey At the launch of the IMF commitment to collecting a new set of financial indicators worldwide through the Access to Finance Project, the UNSGSA discussed how inclusive finance can be achieved through the collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders on national strategies. To develop those strategies, high-quality, comparative data on access to financial services is needed to identify knowledge gaps and policy priorities, monitor the effectiveness of policies over time, and better understand the impact of financial access.   Full text


Access to Health Insurance Conference
Rotterdam, the Netherlands Queen Máxima helped to convene this diverse global gathering of policymakers, academics, insurance companies, practitioners, and students to examine how access to health could be improved globally.  She reported that 100 million people a year fall into poverty due to health expenses, but that promising new pilot programs and health insurance products for low-income people in developing communities are emerging.  Health insurance only works if it is a part of a well-functioning health care system and infrastructure, including education and access to health services.  The event was organized by the Prince Clause Curatoriun, the International Institute of Social Studies, the Institute of Health Policy and Management of Erasmus University, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PharmAccess and the Rotterdam Global Health Initiative in consultation with the UNSGSA.  Queen Máxima spoke in a dual capacity as Chair of the Curatorium of the Prince Clause Chair and UNSGSA   Full text


Address to Reserve Bank of India
Mumbai, India Addressing the Bank's governor and board, the UNSGSA noted that India has all elements in place to achieve full financial inclusion. Significant potential lies with pilots that are moving government social and welfare payments from cash to electronic means. She emphasized the importance of designing products that address client needs, and noted that government policies can support private-sector providers in this process. Multi-faceted financial education will also be necessary to strengthen client safety and build demand.   Full text


Advancing Inclusive Finance and Development through Digital Services and Partnership
New York Digital technology will play an important role in accelerating the drive toward universal access to financial services and therefore help advance economic and other development opportunities for households and SMEs. At the Better Than Cash Alliance event, the UNSGSA encouraged government, industry, and development agency leaders set their ambitions high and deepen partnerships and coordination to ensure electronic payments become a gateway to extend insurance, savings, credit and other financial products. Recognizing the importance of continuing to address supply side issues such as regulation and better data, the UNSGSA pointed out that meeting the needs of poor households and small enterprises through better product design is where we will have the greatest impact in terms of reducing the costs and risks of cash. Full text
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