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.


Utilizing Technology and Reaching Underserved Populations
Buenos Aires, Argentina In a message to attendees at a special seminar on financial inclusion organized by Banco de la Nación prior to the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, the UNSGSA urged participants to use innovative approaches to reach women, farmers, the poor, and other financially excluded populations. These include digital technologies, banking agents, and mobile money. She also noted that access to financial services can speed progress on global development goals.  Full text
Key Opportunities for Women’s Financial Inclusion
Buenos Aires, Argentina Providing formal financial services to women is essential to promote economic development and gender equality. In a video message to the Women 20 (W20) Summit, the UNSGSA stressed the need for companies to create financial products that address the needs of women, particularly entrepreneurs. To do this, they will need to collect gender-disaggregated data that reveals gaps in access and usage. Likewise, governments need to require disaggregated data from financial services providers to develop the right policies.  Women’s digital access and literacy are also critical to this effort. Full text
Regulating Innovation to Promote Financial Inclusion
Amsterdam, Netherlands The Special Advocate and Governor Klaas Knot of De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) hosted a roundtable on fintech and financial Inclusion to discuss new regulatory approaches for financial innovation. They brought together 23 leaders from regulatory authorities, innovative fintech companies, standard-setting bodies, and development partners. Full text
Seizing Fintech's Potential for Financial Inclusion
Cambridge, England In multiple ways, fintech can bring promising new solutions to the financially excluded, said the Special Advocate to an audience of fintech experts at Cambridge. But challenges are real, including consumer protection—especially for customers with limited digital and financial skills. She highlighted two key challenges: supporting regulators tasked with supervising the fast-changing fintech landscape and putting in place the prerequisites need for fintech to work for the poor. Full text
How Can Data Propel Financial Inclusion for Women?
Washington, DC At a gathering focused on building gender-disaggregated data on women's financial inclusion, the Special Advocate noted the continuing gender gap in financial services as she urged governments and the private sector to take needed steps to change this. Data, she said, must be our starting point for change, and she encouraged strong commitments to developing this on both the supply and demand sides. Full text
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


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