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.


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
Customer-centricity: At the Heart of Financial Inclusion and the Core of the Digital Economy
Davos, Switzerland  Digital finance holds much promise but a big hurdle remains in the form of usage, the Special Advocate said in a speech during a session on financial inclusion in the digital economy at the World Economic Forum. For a complex variety of reasons, so far people have not taken up digital financial services on a wide enough scale to have a consequential impact. The missing ingredient for providers and regulators may be customer-centricity—putting customers first at every stage. Full text


Discurso sobre Inclusión Financiera para el Desarrollo en la Universidad Católica de Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina Excelencia, Excellentie, familia, amigos,queridos alumnos, señoras y señores: Realmente es un honor estar de vuelta con ustedes, no como estu-diante matricula 387/389 pero como la Asesora Especial del Secreta-rio General de las Naciones Unidas sobre Inclusión Financiera para el Desarrollo. Y puedo decir que esta Universidad me dio las bases aca-demicas para abordar este tema que esta cambiando las realidades de millones de personas en el mundo. Full text
How Can We Further Unleash the Powers of Financial Inclusion?
Washington, D.C Delivering the annual Duisenberg Lecture, the Special Advocate laid out the major touch-points needed for financial inclusion to continue to expand its impact. She encouraged development partners, private sector, and government to prioritize promoting powerful policies, prioritizing hard-to-reach segments of society such as farmers and women; and ensuring that financial services are customer-centric. Full text
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