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

2017

Fintech Through the Prism of Financial Inclusion
Amsterdam The Special Advocate and the Nederlandsche Bank convened a day-long conversation among leading fintech firms and national regulators and supervisors to discuss the rising topic of fintech and financial inclusion. The aim was to distill a list of public goods necessary for fintech to thrive and to identify emerging good practices that could foster financial inclusion. Full text

2016

Fintech, Financial Inclusion, and the Changing Landscape of Banking
Amsterdam   As bankers look to the future, new digital technologies offer tantalizing possibilities for transforming banking—in the process opening up financial services to millions of currently excluded people. Speaking to the EU Banking Federation, the Special Advocate noted that while the future impact of fintech is unknowable, change is coming. Bankers, regulators, and development experts all need to follow the evolution of fintech carefully, and work together so that its applications have the widest positive impact they can on people’s lives.     Full text

2010

FMO’s 40th Anniversary Conference: ‘Be Social, Make Profit: Financing the Future of Developing Economies’
The Hague, the Netherlands The UNSGSA asserted that poor people are entitled to a wide range of efficiently delivered financial services. She noted that finance programs can extend beyond scarce donor resources and produce a multiplier effect, while formalizing good practices and promoting environmental sustainability. She cited the Massif local currency fund of FMO as an example of a public-private partnership that provides finance to local financial institutions that would otherwise be too risky for banks alone. She highlighted the challenges of testing innovative partnerships, of generating data adequate for analysis, and of scaling up successful pilots with appropriate profit margins and consumer protections.   Full text
Fourth High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development
New York, USA The UNSGSA stressed the importance of heeding the voices of the unbanked and the underbanked in understanding the challenges and limitations they face. She called for innovative public-private risk-sharing partnerships that can significantly expand access for individuals and businesses needing financial services.   Full text

2017

From Committment to Strategy: Building Financial Inclusion in Viet Nam
Hanoi, Viet Nam During her country visit to Viet Nam, the Special Advocate joined a discussion on preparations for the national financial inclusion strategy. She opened the session with remarks lauding the State Bank’s initiatives to expand financial inclusion but noted that less than a third of adults have bank accounts. Some particularly promising solutions are tied to digital technology, which could allow Viet Nam to leapfrog into digital finance. This leap will need to be anchored by a strong national strategy, supported by high-level government champions, and coordinated by committed ministries. Full text

2016

From Start-ups to Scale-ups, Building the Strength of Small Business to Expand Opportunity
Amsterdam   Speaking to the SME Envoys Network, the Special Advocate explored what is needed to fully support the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These businesses are the engine of job creation in Europe, but the services they need to thrive—including credit, investment, and training—are not always accessible. By reducing the inequities in credit and financing for SMEs, policymakers, regulators, and financial institutions can help them grow stronger.     Full text

2014

From “Flying Money” to Digital Finance: Innovation and Development through Financial Inclusion in China
Beijing, China Addressing students at Peking University, the Special Advocate spoke about the central role of financial inclusion in China’s efforts to expand equitable growth. China has a rich history of financial innovation and has dramatically reduced poverty and hunger in just a few decades. Still, 400 million remain financially excluded, particularly the rural poor, migrant workers, and small entrepreneurs. With a solid foundation in place and the government moving to expand financial access, technology and innovation hold great promise. Success depends on all actors working in support of a common vision. Full text

2010

G20 SME Finance DFI Working Group Meeting
Frankfurt, Germany The UNSGSA called for a common language between microfinance and SME finance to reduce barriers and to streamline financial access for entrepreneurs. She urged greater attention to value chain financing, and asserted that data collection – particularly at the SME level – must be improved to help governments to better orient policies and institutions toward financial inclusion.   Full text
Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change
The Hague, the Netherlands In her opening speech at the Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, Queen Máxima called attention to how financial services can benefit sustainable agriculture and environmental protection. Full text

2012

BiD Conference ‘Growing SMEs: Connect. Change. Invest’
The Hague, the Netherlands Highlighting that financial services need to be available locally, Queen Máxima spoke of the importance to understand what each country needs.  Working with government and other partners to identify practical steps to enhance local entrepreneurship culture is essential, as well as focusing on specific sectors, like agriculture, where there is pressing need for more finance.  Queen Máxima illustrated some of the obstacles faced by women entrepreneurs and welcomed BiD’s Women in Business Challenge, which is providing women entrepreneurs with financial literacy and better business knowledge to take more calculated risks.   Full text