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.

2018

Breaking Ground in Financing for Women Entrepreneurs
Amsterdam, the Netherlands   In the keynote address at the Power of Parternships event, the Special Advocate asked why women entrepreneurs have so much lower access and use of finance than men, and what solutions should be implemented to solve this problem. She encouraged providers and other parties to address data gaps, recognize the business case for serving women, tailor services for women's distinct needs, and more. And she called for innovative partnerships to blaze new paths.     Full text

2017

Inclusive Technology for an Inclusive Future
Singapore   In a keynote address at the Singapore Fintech Festival, the Special Advocate spoke to fintech innovators from around the world about the responsibility—and opportunity—to help extend financial services to 2 billion excluded people. While emphasizing the great promise fintech holds for global financial inclusion, she also noted serious risks such as data privacy, fraud, the technology gap, and more. In order for fintech to work for financial inclusion, she stressed, we need to build the right infrastructure. Full text
Creating Nigeria’s Success Story: Mobile Money, Agents, and the Way Forward for Financial Inclusion
Abuja, Nigeria   As Nigeria begins to rethink and re-energize its national financial inclusion strategy in order to amplify its impact, what steps could it take to really speed progress? In a keynote address to a financial inclusion workshop, the Special Advocate highlighted the potential impact of expanding mobile money, widening the scale of agent networks that provide mobile money, and adjusting regulations to allow mobile network operators to provide mobile money services.     Full text
Próximos pasos en favor de la inclusión financiera en México: Priorizar a los agentes, las pequeñas empresas y la industria fintech
Mexico City, Mexico   Mexico’s work on financial inclusion is beginning to find real traction, the Special Advocate said in Mexico City, but still only 44 percent of adults have a saving account. She laid out a set of priorities for action, starting with significantly expanding the country’s agent network in order to provide services to all parts of the country, especially rural areas where poverty is high. She also stressed the importance of expanding financing for small businesses, and advocated as well that the country open up room for the development and growth of the fintech industry. Full text
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
Where Do We Stand with Financial Literacy
Paris At the launch of the OECD's PISA 2015 financial literacy assessment of students, the Special Advocate addressed the importance of young people's ability to make financial decisions about their lives. It is essential to prepare the next generation for economic citizenship. But PISA results show the danger of an increasing gap between advantaged and disadvanted youth--data that poses a call to action. Full text
How Can We Help Small Business Thrive?
Amsterdam Growth and entrepreneurship are a central focus of the Special Advocate’s work, both globally and in the Netherlands. In a speech to European McKinsey partners, she explored what is required for small businesses to expand and thrive, including supportive policies, access to data, adequate financing, coaching, and ambition. Full text
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
The Power of the UN to Advance Financial Inclusion
New York City The Special Advocate met with members of the UN's Group of Friends of Financial Inclusion to look back at the progress made to build recognition of financial inclusion into the SDGs. But she also addressed the immediate priorities for UN member states in this regard, emphasizing improving the evidence base and measuring progress. Full text
Balancing Innovation and Risks in the Digital Era
Wiesbaden, German   Speaking to a G20 conference on digital finance and financial inclusion, the Special Advocate laid out the great promise of digital tools to expand financial access to the poor. But she also discussed the risks of technology-based innovations for customers and the financial system. The way forward, she said, lies in taking a customer-centric approach, preparing and empowering customers, putting safe and enabling regulations in place, and developing the necessary public goods.     Full text