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

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
Financial Inclusion's Coming of Age: Partnerships, Progress, and the Shape of Things to Come
Davos, Switzerland Addressing a gathering focused on fostering financial inclusion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Special Advocate looked at how far financial inclusion has come and reflected on what the future may hold. The movement's successes can be attributed in part to the strength and agility of partnerships, but much work remains to be done. The face of financial inclusion will look very different in five years, she predicted, as it will have to if we hope to reach the goal of universal financial inclusion.   Full text

2015

Putting Customers at the Center: Reaching the Goal of Universal Financial Inclusion
Cape Town, South Africa Addressing the importance of client-centricity, the Special Advocate emphasized that access to financial services is only the first step toward true financial inclusion. Only when people use services, and when those services are tailored to provide substantive benefit, can financial inclusion fulfull its promise. She also praised the launch of the new Insight to Impact data initiative, which will provide insights that can guide the creation of client-centered products and services.   Full text
Building Small-Business Finance and Opening a Wider Door for Financial Inclusion
Antalya, Turkey The Special Advocate stressed the importance of providing financial services to small enterprises as a way to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Small businesses account for more than half the world's GDP and employ more than 2/3 of workers but it is difficult for them to obtain the financing they need to grow. The creation of the Global Membership Network is an important step in toward minimizing the bottlenecks that are stifling these businesses.   Full text
Harnessing Financial Innovation to Build an Inclusive World
Basel, Switzerland   Addressing the All Governors Meeting at the Bank for International Settlements, the Special Advocate laid out the promise and challenges of building a more inclusive financial system. It is now widely agreed that financial inclusion plays a powerful role in fostering economic growth and further vital development goals, but there is a rising recognition that there is a positive relationship between financial inclusion and financial stability. But the current business models of most financial institutions are not geared to offering services to low-income households. Rapid innovation in digital and other financial technologies is driving rapid change, and the financial sector, including regulators, need to be prepared for this. If handled well, these innovations can be a boon to financial inclusion.   Full text
The Future of Development: Financial Inclusion for Young Entrepreneurs
New York City We need the dynamism of young people to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the Special Advocate said at an UN General Assembly side event on youth and entrepreneurship. It is vital that young entrepreneurs be given the support and tools they need to make an impact, through the provision of well designed financial tools as well as financial education. Governments and the private sector have an important challenge to bring young people into the formal financial sector, but the impact on long-term development will be transformative.   Full text
Financial Inclusion as a Tool to Build Resilience and Address Climate Change
New York City   Climate change has the greatest effect on the poorest among us, noted the Special Advocate during a session on climate change at the UN's Sustainable Development Summit. It is our duty to provide them with the tools that will help them become more resilient, among them financial services. Access to financial services helps individuals and small businesses better cope with the unforeseen shocks such as floods and drought. Smallholder farmers in particular warrant close attention, she noted.   Full text
Sustaining and Strengthening the Private Sector’s Role in Financial Inclusion
Antalya, Turkey In a video address to the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, the Special Advocate noted growing support for and progress on financial inclusion, which will lay vital groundwork for the new Sustainable Development Goals, to be adopted shortly at the UN. However the process of making financial inclusion a reality remains complex, and the involvement of the private sector is vital for success. She emphasized that women and small businesses in particular warrant greater attention, and she praised the Turkish G20 presidency for its focus on private-sector engagement.   Full text