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.

2009

Annual Conference of the Russian Microfinance Center
Moscow, Russia Referring to the progress made in the two years since her last visit, the UNSGSA noted that though many Russians have access to basic financial services, only 20 percent have bank deposits.  She emphasized the value of savings in protecting against risks and building assets, and of enabling legal frameworks in managing savings and broadening access.  She noted the power of technology to overcome geographic distances, historically a barrier to accessing deposit services, and praised Russia’s advances in technological innovation.  She stressed the importance of consumer protection to ensure that clients benefit from these innovations. Full text
Microfinance India Summit
New Delhi, India The UNSGSA commended India for making financial inclusion a priority and for swiftly expanding outreach to borrowers through self-help groups as well as integrating microfinance with other, non-financial services, such as water and sanitation.  The UNSGSA underscored the importance of deposit services and of experimenting with micro-insurance beyond life insurance services, to health and asset insurance.  She noted that establishing client protection norms was important for bringing real benefits to underserved people.     A strong and inclusive financial sector not only promotes growth, it promotes growth that is pro-poor, and therefore reduces income inequalities.   Full text
Access to Finance Project Launch
Istanbul, Turkey At the launch of the IMF commitment to collecting a new set of financial indicators worldwide through the Access to Finance Project, the UNSGSA discussed how inclusive finance can be achieved through the collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders on national strategies. To develop those strategies, high-quality, comparative data on access to financial services is needed to identify knowledge gaps and policy priorities, monitor the effectiveness of policies over time, and better understand the impact of financial access.   Full text
Clinton Global Initiative Finance Dinner
New York, USA In her first speech as the UNSGSA, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands described the evolution in thinking from ‘microcredit’ to ‘microfinance’ to ‘inclusive finance’ and advocated for a range of financial services, starting with savings, targeting poor people. She called for unduly restrictive rules and regulations that bar access to be removed, processes to be streamlined and tax structures re-examined, supported by pro-growth legal instruments and greater investment in financial infrastructure. She highlighted promising examples of ‘integrated microfinance’, such as linking microfinance to other in-demand products such as mobile phones, as well as to solar energy, irrigation systems, cooking stoves, and more. Full text