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

Speeches

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.

2012

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

2013

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

2014

A Shared Understanding: Finding the Right Balance between Financial Inclusion and Global Financial Standards
Basel, Switzerland Deepening financial inclusion is critical for individual prosperity and security, and also for the stability, integrity, and transparency of the wider financial system, said the UNSGSA. Much progress has been made by the standard setting bodies (SSBs), but challenges remain in balancing financial integrity and inclusion at the country level and in ensuring that regulations keep up with potentially game-changing innovations. The Special Advocate praised the work of the SSBs and welcomed the contribution of countries, including members of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, to the ongoing work to achieve this balance.     Full text

2013

Accelerating Development through Inclusive and Responsible Financial Systems
Moscow, Russia The UNSGSA highlighted the enabling role of financial services in moving millions of families out of poverty, but also the increasing gap in financial capability. She noted that financial education, consumer protection, and responsible finance must go hand in hand with increased access. The UNSGSA also highlighted the role of national strategies in bringing all of these separate elements together, and encouraged cross-sector coordination among stakeholders. Full text

2014

Acceptance Speech at the German Media Award
Baden-Baden, Germany Thank you for this honour.  I am sharing this wonderful recognition with many courageous people around the world who are working very hard to create new opportunities for their families, their communities and their countries. And I would also like to share this with a host of national and international organizations who are passionately committed to raising awareness and taking action towards inclusive finance for development. But what is ‘Inclusive finance’?  It is access for and usage by everyone to a wide range of sustainable financial services at a reasonable cost.  That is: giving people the financial tools that will improve their lives, such as a bank account, a savings account, mobile banking, health care insurance and small loans. Full text

2009

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

2012

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

2013

Address at Unilever's "Post-2015 A New Global Partnership” Dinner
New York The UNSGSA explained that she focuses on inclusive finance because it is a means to achieve urgent development goals like food security, healthcare and environmental sustainability. She said that without infrastructure like roads and a stable financial sector, it will be very difficult to achieve any development goal. The private sector, both multinational and also SMEs, as well as knowledge institutions will be important partners to achieving these important outcomes--and for reaching scale and sustainability. She called attention to issues affecting both supply and demand, from the enabling environment to infrastructure for low-cost services, as well as products that meet client demands and have development impact.  Full text

2014

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

2013

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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