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.

2016

Digital Financial Inclusion, Financial Exclusion, and De-risking: A Conversation with the SSBs
Basel, Switzerland Speaking at a gathering of the Standard-setting Bodies in Basel, the Special Advocate raised a set of issues that loom large for the global regulators: digital financial inclusion--specifically fintech-- financial exclusion, and de-risking.  Noting that the SSBs play a crucial role in guiding policies related to each of these concerns, she discussed some of the major issues they present in regard to regulation and potential impact on financial inclusion. Full text
Jumpstarting Financial Inclusion in Indonesia
Jakarta, Indonesia Speaking at the close of a fintech conference in Jakarta, the Special Advocate praised Indonesia for its leadership on financial inclusion and looked closely at ways the country can continue to make progress. Expanding inclusion is daunting in a country that is so geographicallly dispersed, but digital technology offers a key that holds great promise. Full text
For Prosperidad Inclusiva, Implementing Financial Inclusion in Mexico
Mexico City The Special Advocate joined the launch of Mexico's National Financial Inclusion Plan and delivered a keynote address in which she praised the country's efforts to lay the groundwork for the new plan. She pinpointed several areas for future work that offer great promise. Full text
The Business of Women: Investing in the Potential of Women Entrepreneurs
Amsterdam Gender equality lies at the heart of development, but women, including female entrepreneurs, face more obstacles than their male counterparts. In Europe as in developing countries, women business owners are less profitable, have more trouble accessing credit, are more risk-averse, and tend to be less confident. The Special Advocate discussed a range of actions that could support the success of businesswomen, including coaching, advice, and investments from women leaders; promoting women-centered financial products; and strengthening women’s digital connectivity.     Full text
Fintech, Financial Inclusion, and the Changing Landscape of Banking
Amsterdam   As bankers look to the future, new digital technologies offer tantalizing possibilities for transforming banking—in the process opening up financial services to millions of currently excluded people. Speaking to the EU Banking Federation, the Special Advocate noted that while the future impact of fintech is unknowable, change is coming. Bankers, regulators, and development experts all need to follow the evolution of fintech carefully, and work together so that its applications have the widest positive impact they can on people’s lives.     Full text
Financial Inclusion: An Essential Part of the Response to Climate Change
Rotterdam, the Netherlands   The effects of climate change are being felt everywhere but particularly by the poor in developing countries, the Special Advocate noted in a speech during a climate adaptation conference. Access to financial services is increasingly being recognized as an essential part of preparations for the effects of climate change, and a number of innovative approaches are being developed including micro-insurance and solar power. Stronger private sector commitments will be vital for greater success, she stressed. Full text
From Start-ups to Scale-ups, Building the Strength of Small Business to Expand Opportunity
Amsterdam   Speaking to the SME Envoys Network, the Special Advocate explored what is needed to fully support the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These businesses are the engine of job creation in Europe, but the services they need to thrive—including credit, investment, and training—are not always accessible. By reducing the inequities in credit and financing for SMEs, policymakers, regulators, and financial institutions can help them grow stronger.     Full text
Create Economies that Can Benefit All: Development, Equitable Growth, and the Role of Financial Inclusion
Amsterdam   In an address to European economics and finance ministers during an informal gathering of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin), the Special Advocate discussed the role of financial inclusion in building sustainable economic development and growth in which all can participate. She emphasized the importance of access to financial services, stressed the sound, safe use of those services, and reflected on the challenges of financial innovation. Full text
Strengthening the Roots of Financial Resilience in Financial Education
Amsterdam   Financial resilience improves well-being and gives people hope for a better future, but building resilience requires financial education and consumer protection. Speaking at a symposium in Amsterdam, the Special Advocate applauded countries around the world that are implementing plans to support financial resilience and called for more research to guide ongoing efforts. Full text
In Pakistan, Moving Commitment to a New Level of Action
Islamabad, Pakistan   Joining an event to launch Pakistan’s universal financial inclusion agenda, the Special Advocate praised Pakistan’s work to create a strong regulatory foundation and to establish its national financial inclusion strategy. The challenges of ramping up financial inclusion will be significant, she noted, but the impact on the larger economy and on the lives of the poor can be transformative. Currently the economy is largely based on cash; moving those payments to digital offers a tremendous opportunity. Women in particular need attention, and small businesses are also in need of formal financing. By implementing the National Strategy, Pakistan will be able to make great progress. Full text