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.


United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Inclusive Finance
New York City The UNSGSA explained that financial inclusion is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. It can help poor communities to access health, water, sanitation, energy, employment, food security, and other basic needs and accelerate progress toward numerous development goals. Financial inclusion is a cross-cutting issue that benefits from partnerships among development institutions. Full text
Women’s World Banking Global Dinner Celebration
New York, USA At a celebration in which the UNSGSA was honored for her “for her tireless efforts to champion financial inclusion around the world,” the UNSGSA spoke about why financial services are so critical for the world’s poorest people, especially for women. Financial services such as savings can empower women by providing privacy and safety. Inclusive financial systems can also meet larger development and growth goals for women by: 1) focusing on services to help to meet basic needs such as water, education and health; 2) developing financial solutions that are sustainable and scalable; 3) providing a continuum of access for microenterprise and SMEs; and, 4) providing longer-term capital and training to develop women’s financial capability. Full text
Women in Financial Services network meeting
Zeist, The Netherlands The UNSGSA noted that products to advance financial inclusion should be sustainable and consider the needs of women, who play a crucial role in economic development. She encouraged investors at the meeting to sign the Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance, which, she said, puts the interests of clients first. Full text
Investor Principles for Inclusive Finance: How Investors Can Contribute to Building Vibrant and Responsible Financial Systems
The Hague, the Netherlands The UNSGSA noted that responsible finance depends on government policy action, consumers’ ability to understand choices, products and rights, and action by industry.  She called out the important role of investors in building a responsible and inclusive financial system.  The UNSGSA congratulated the first signees of the Principles, which offer practical guidance to help investors leverage resources, experience and collective voice to build strong, sustainable and responsible financial institutions that not only reach poor clients and SMEs, but put these clients at the center.   Full text


Building an Inclusive Financial System in Egypt
Cairo, Egypt Congratulating EFSA on the draft regulations, the UNSGSA stressed that financial inclusion should provide all Egyptians with the right financial products in the places where they need it, at the right prices.  It should be competitive and transparent, and protect consumers.   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
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
Approaches to Cross-Sector Policy Leadership and Coordination for Financial Inclusion
Bali, Indonesia In her remarks to policymakers from 48 developing and emerging countries, the UNSGSA described how increased coordination at three levels can benefit financial inclusion: 1) within countries; 2) at the cross-national level among policymakers in different jurisdictions; and, 3) through existing global standard setting organizations. The UNSGSA emphasized the importance of universal access within reasonable distance from clients’ homes or workplaces. A widespread national payment system provides the critical financial infrastructure for development and growth.   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
International Conference on Global Partnerships in Microfinance
London, UK The UNSGSA explained how enterprises need different types of financing at each stage of growth. Innovative partnerships, including between banks and mobile phone companies, are reaching larger numbers of clients in a more affordable manner and in places where banks have not traditionally been able to go. Government agencies are also engaging with banks and other financial service providers to promote the development of products tailored for rural clients.   Full text