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.


Partnerships to Achieve Financial Inclusion for Development
Bali, Indonesia Lack of access to financial services remains a significant hindrance for households and small and medium sized enterprises. The UNSGSA demonstrated how financial inclusion is a critical enabler and accelerator of equitable economic growth, job creation and achievement of a variety of development goals including education, health, and housing. She urged the Panel members to integrate this cross-cutting issue into the post-2015 development agenda. An inclusive financial system is essential infrastructure in all countries.  She calls for universal access to financial services, proposing a global target of 90% by 2030 along with a set of indicators that measure development impacts. Full text
Financial Inclusion to Advance Food Security and Rural Development
Rome, Italy Queen Máxima highlighted best practices and emerging opportunities for access to financial services that can advance the mandates of the Rome-based UN agencies to end poverty and hunger.  In addition to credit to increase crop production, financial services such as savings and insurance are needed to build resilience to shocks such as price fluctuations or natural disasters.  Diverse financial services are also needed to boost overall income generating opportunities in rural areas, and for access to basic needs such as health, education and housing.  She urged attention to smallholder farmers and women in particular. Concrete opportunities include working together as UN agencies to bring agriculture agendas into national strategic planning processes for financial inclusion, and vice-versa, and to embed financial inclusion in the post-2015 development agenda, which will shape international and domestic priorities for years to come. Full text
The Role of Inclusive Finance in Development
The Hague, the Netherlands There is significant opportunity for the private sector to meet the enormous needs of the 2.5 billion people currently excluded from the formal financial system through more and better financial products for households and small enterprises.  The private sector as a whole will also benefit when increased access to better financial services enables hundreds of millions of SMEs to reduce costs, improve performance and be stronger local business partners. The UNSGSA looks beyond the expiration of the MDGs in 2015 and stresses that access to finance should be a cross-cutting issue in the future development agenda. She suggests multiple ways for private financial service providers and other companies to get involved and make a difference.   Full text
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


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
Opening Remarks to the FMO Conference on the Future of Banking
Amsterdam, the Netherlands The UNSGSA reflected on the importance of banks’ knowledge of the local context, markets, value chains and risks in order to design and deliver the right products for individual enterprises.  She urged bankers to ensure inclusive financial services become part of the institutions strategy and long-term sustainability. She also suggested creating a dedicated team committed to understanding the specific characteristics of SME lending in different markets by keeping the needs of clients central.  Full text
UNSGSA Speech to the 8th International Microinsurance Conference
Tanzania The UNSGSA highlighted that the growth of the microinsurance industry, beyond an exclusive focus on microcredit, is evidence of how much progress has been made in financial inclusion. She emphasized the importance of microinsurance delivering value and growing carefully, while maintaining client trust, as key to the success of this relatively new field. Successful pilots should be scaled up at the right time to achieve scale. She noted the importance of coordination with other sectors and stakeholders, and the integration of insurance into national financial inclusion strategies.  Full text
Making Financial Inclusion a Reality in Nigeria
Abuja, Nigeria The UNSGSA joined the Vice-President of Nigeria and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to launch Nigeria’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy, acknowledging its significance in changing the future for millions of Nigerians. In her remarks, the UNSGSA encouraged all stakeholders to work together and across sectors in order to ensure the success of the Strategy.   Full text
European SME Week Summit: Women’s Entrepreneurship Makes Business Sense
Brussels, Belguim Together with the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation the UNSGSA drew attention to the importance of female micro and small entrepreneurs to the economy. She pointed out that their success depends not only on access to finance, but also on coaching and training. Women often make up a large proportion of small business owners, but have different risk behaviors and access to finance than men. This should be taken into account when designing financial products, training curriculum and other support initiatives. Full text
The Great Game Business Challenge 2012
Istanbul, Turkey Queen Máxima stressed the importance of SMEs as an engine of growth and job creation, and that small enterprises need financial services to start up and scale up. To this end, she welcomed Turkish policy that that will reduce barriers to finance. The UNSGSA also pointed out that access to finance alone is not enough to foster SME growth. It must be coupled with financial literacy and business knowledge, and that this is especially true for women. She congratulated Turkey for having committed to creating a coordination platform and a national strategy for financial inclusion during the Los Cabos G20 meeting under the G20’s Financial Inclusion Peer Learning Program.   Full text