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.


Twente Research Conference on Micro-Insurance
Enschede, the Netherlands In this gathering of researchers, practitioners, and donors, Queen Máxima pointed out that the first step in designing financial products with more impact is understanding why a poor client needs insurance. She suggested broadening the scope of research to understand the potential impact of microinsurance on community welfare as well as households and individuals. She also urged the audience to consider microinsurance in combination with other financial products to help the poor protect themselves from unforeseen risks.   Full text
Opening Remarks at the Annual Meeting of Global Financial Standard Setting Bodies (SSBs) on Financial Inclusion
Basel, Switzerland The UNSGSA reflected on the significant progress and momentum that has gathered over the past 14 months since the first-ever convening of SSBs on financial inclusion. Responding to the unmet demand for financial services for the poor will help to maintain financial stability, integrity, and a healthy environment for growth. She recognized recent progress by SSBs, such as FATF’s embrace of a proportionate, risk-based approach in its recent revision of the Recommendations. Queen Máxima maintained that the development of an inclusive financial sector goes hand in hand with greater financial and social stability.   Full text


People, Planet and Profit Together: The roles of inclusive finance, business and knowledge in sustainable development
Utrecht, the Netherlands In this speech, Queen Máxima considered the link between green and socially responsible innovation and technology and responsible investment. Ingenuity and social commitments of businesses and public-private partnerships have brought about solutions such as solar cells and creating energy from biomass. But these innovations in sustainable technology also require innovations in finance for both the company and the potential client. The evolution of financial products and arrangements must keep pace with key developments that support a more sustainable future. Full text
Taking stock, Setting goals, Moving forward
Riviera Maya, Mexico In her address to policymakers from 60 developing countries, the UNSGSA reflected that access to basic financial services reinforces sound and stable financial systems.  It also requires new financial products and services that meet the needs of both poor individuals and SMEs.  She recognized that regulators are taking the lead in creating an enabling environment for innovative business models to thrive. Full text
Advancing Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance
Paris, France Queen Máxima explored the complexity that investors face in managing risks and financial returns, and balancing these efforts with environmental, social, and governance issues that financial markets do not traditionally address.  The UNSGSA considered how tools such as the Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance, which she helped to launch in January 2011, can help to foster greater shared responsibility and investment that benefit the environment, people, and profits. Full text
The Role of Investors in Building Vibrant and Responsible Financial Systems
Amsterdam, the Netherlands The UNSGSA discussed how investors can promote financial inclusion by investing in companies that are agents of change and are responsible.  Investors have the potential to influence how the industry grows and the kinds of financial products that are available to diverse clients.  She commended BlackRock for joining the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and urged all investors to sign the Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance. Full text
Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) Europe Congress
Amsterdam, the Netherlands The UNSGSA discussed the ways in which SMEs can be engines for sustainable development, including in agriculture and climate change.  Social investors should consider how to expand access to longer-term capital for SMEs, as well as effective models for technical assistance and business development services.  Social investors should also consider the balance between impact on sustainable development and financial return.   Full text
Responsible Finance and Consumer Protection Seminar,
Dakar, Senegal The UNSGSA emphasized that responsible finance is not only about averting problems, but also about maximizing the quality of services for clients.  The UNSGSA applauded Senegal for establishing its Observatoire de la Qualité des Services Financiers to monitor the quality of financial services.  She also praised the Central Bank of Western African States (BCEAO) for its on-going efforts to build a strong regulatory framework.  She noted several outstanding opportunities in Senegal, including development of a national strategy for financial literacy; additional policies that further encourage innovation and entry of new kinds of service providers; and new industry standards for client treatment, price transparency and client recourse for illiterate clients.   Full text
Consumer Protection and Responsible Finance
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia The UNSGSA underlined how consumer protection and responsible finance are inherent parts of a sustainable financial system.  While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, successful policy approaches share several elements.  They focus on key goals, including transparency in pricing, fair treatment, effective recourse and financial literacy.  They also respond to the national context and priorities.  The UNSGSA stressed that policymakers should work together with industry and consumers to address common goals.   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