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.


Feeding the World 2013
Amsterdam, the Netherlands The UNSGSA reminded participants that in low-income economies only 22% of rural people have a bank account.  Queen Máxima emphasized that good financial services, designed with local crops and local cultures in mind, can reduce and even remove many of the risks that small-holder farmers face.  She underscored the need for financial products specifically tailored to the needs of the many women who farm.  Queen Máxima called on participants to form cross-sector partnerships to make the right financial services available along entire value chains.   Full text


Financial Inclusion as a Tool to Build Resilience and Address Climate Change
New York City   Climate change has the greatest effect on the poorest among us, noted the Special Advocate during a session on climate change at the UN's Sustainable Development Summit. It is our duty to provide them with the tools that will help them become more resilient, among them financial services. Access to financial services helps individuals and small businesses better cope with the unforeseen shocks such as floods and drought. Smallholder farmers in particular warrant close attention, she noted.   Full text


Financial Inclusion Important for Aging Populations
In a video address for the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) Opening Ceremony held on 7 June 2019 in Tokyo, the UNSGSA highlighted the importance of financial inclusion for aging populations and how technology can play a role. Full text


Financial Inclusion Seminar
Hanoi, Vietnam Queen Máxima of the Netherlands addressed high-level participants from Vietnamese banks, regulatory bodies, microfinance institutions, international organizations and international businesses. She called attention to exciting progress on financial inclusion in Vietnam, including a stronger policy environment and a draft national strategy for microfinance. She underscored that advancement of financial inclusion will require strong coordination and leadership by government in collaboration with all involved stakeholders.   Full text


Financial Inclusion – Challenges/Initiatives to Advance Progress
Washington, DC, USA The UNSGSA outlined five priorities for action: 1) coordination, especially within countries and with Standard Setting Bodies; 2) creation of a continuum of access to finance; 3) use of widespread national payment systems as a stepping stone for other financial services; 4) increased piloting of partnerships to combine finance with basic services provision; and 5) gathering of more and better data, especially on small and medium enterprises.   Full text
Financial Inclusion: A Path to the Millennium Development Goals a High-Level Side-Event during the UN MDG Summit
New York, USA The UNSGSA described how financial inclusion helps families and entrepreneurs meet their needs, and advances each of the eight MDGs. New innovations, including mobile and agent banking, are expanding the reach of financial products at lower costs. The UNSGSA explained that continued taking successful approaches to scale requires strong government leadership, and cross-sector collaboration by a range of ministries, donors, private sector, and nongovernmental organizations among others.   Full text


Financial Inclusion: An Essential Part of the Response to Climate Change
Rotterdam, the Netherlands   The effects of climate change are being felt everywhere but particularly by the poor in developing countries, the Special Advocate noted in a speech during a climate adaptation conference. Access to financial services is increasingly being recognized as an essential part of preparations for the effects of climate change, and a number of innovative approaches are being developed including micro-insurance and solar power. Stronger private sector commitments will be vital for greater success, she stressed. Full text
Financial Inclusion's Coming of Age: Partnerships, Progress, and the Shape of Things to Come
Davos, Switzerland Addressing a gathering focused on fostering financial inclusion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Special Advocate looked at how far financial inclusion has come and reflected on what the future may hold. The movement's successes can be attributed in part to the strength and agility of partnerships, but much work remains to be done. The face of financial inclusion will look very different in five years, she predicted, as it will have to if we hope to reach the goal of universal financial inclusion.   Full text


Financial Services to Help Migrants and Their Families Get the Most From Remittances
Bangkok, Thailand Queen Máxima highlighted the large role that remittances play in the well being of many households.  Despite the recent global economic downturn, the flow of international remittances has remained large and is expected to continue to increase.  But remitting money is expensive.  The UNSGSA challenged participants from government and the private sector to work together to lower the costs of remittances for senders and recipients alike through new products, more competition and mitigation of currency exchange risk, thus putting more money in the hands of receivers.  She encouraged providers to design products tailored to the changing patterns of migration, which include more women.  Another area for priority action is helping receivers use the money in the best possible way.  Full text


Financing Smallholder Farmers to Ensure the Global Food Supply
Utrecht, Netherlands As the world confronts the prospect of food shortages associated with climate change, supporting farmers is more vital than ever. At an event marking the 10th anniversary of IDH (the Sustainable Trade Initiative), the UNSGSA spoke about the need to reach smallholder farmers with the financing they need to increase their production and sustain their livelihoods. She urged financial institutions, agribusinesses, mobile network operators, and fintechs to join forces to deliver innovative financial solutions to rural areas.   Full text