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.

2015

Paving a Wider Path to Financial Inclusion in the Philippines
Manila, the Philippines   The Philippines has long been a fervent supporter of financial inclusion and a model of best practices, the Special Advocate noted at the launch of its National Strategy for Financial Inclusion in Manila, 1 July 2015. The country is moving towards a more financially inclusive and cash-light economy, building on the country’s mobile and digital innovations. But only one-third of Filipinos now have an account at a formal financial institution. The national strategy, which envisions expanding financial services along with financial education and consumer protection, is a crucial step toward a more inclusive future.     Full text
The Development Impact of Remittances: Building Hope and Opportunities for Migrant Families
Milan   Delivering the keynote address at the first International Day of Family Remittances, the Special Advocate said that societies must make sure that migrants can make the most of their hard-earned money—with the aim of strengthening family stability and the economies of both host and home countries. The urgent goal of maximizing the development impact of remittances will require reducing the sometimes crippling costs of transmitting funds, and making basic, affordable financial services available so that families can stabilizing their lives and pull themselves out of poverty.     Full text
At the Forefront of Sustainable Development: Investing in People
Berlin, Germany Speaking at the 40th anniversary celebration of Oikocredit International, the Special Advocate highlighted the organization's ethical business model, which places customers at the center of their own development. She urged Oiko to keep up its influential work with low-income communities, smallholder farmers, and women--all groups that are often left out of development efforts. Full text
Making the Case for Financial Inclusion in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
New York City Speaking with UN member states who are involved with the informal Group of Friends of Financial Inclusion, the Special Advocate thanked countries for the strong support they have provided for financial inclusion during the negotiations on the UN's Post-2015 development agenda and on the financing for development stream. Financial inclusion is an important enabler of the new goals, and she encourged member states to continue to press for a significant role going forward in order to improve the lives of the poor. Full text
Harnessing Financial Education to Spur Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Paris, France The importance of small businesses can hardly be overstated, but improving the financial literacy of business owners is vital, the Special Advocate emphasized in a speech to an OECD/GFLEC symposium on financial literacy. Improving the skills of small business owners can unlock jobs and growth, and play a central role in sustainable, inclusive development.   Full text
Leaping Far Ahead: Unleashing Myanmar's Potential Through Financial Inclusion
Yangon, Myanmar Myanmar is a country of enormous potential waiting to be unleashed, the Special Advocate told students at the University of Yangon, and financial inclusion will be central to its progress. But for financial services to improve livesthey will need to be tailored to the local needs and provided responsibly, a goal that will be supported by Myanmar’s new financial inclusion road map. Thanks to the rapid expansion of mobile phone services and other digital technologies, the country has an exciting chance to leap far ahead with financial inclusion—progress that will take leadership, cooperation, and planning among a wide range of  public and private sector actors. Full text
The Transformative Promise of Mobile Technology for Financial Inclusion
Barcelona, Spain Mobile technology holds the key to achieving universal inclusion, said the Special Advocate at a gathering of mobile tech leaders. For millions who are excluded from formal financial services, mobile services are closing the gap. But billions of people are still excluded. Mobile money presents a series of complex technical hurdles for providers and requires support from regulators and other partners. But smartphones and the mobile Internet hold great promise for overcoming some of these obstacles. As increasing numbers of clients gain access to financial services, customer protection must remain paramount for providers, and as new mobile customers benefit and grow, so, too, will providers.     Full text
Where Do We Go from Here? Moving forward with financial inclusion
London, UK The next move forward for financial inclusion will be driven by innovation and led by the private sector in partnership with other stakeholders, the UNSGSA said at a conference in London. Innovative products such as mobile financial services and branchless banking have already reached millions, and e-commerce firms hold great promise. Countries are developing plans, adopting supportive regulations, and encouraging partnerships. But challenges remain: ensuring that regulators keep up with innovation; protecting and educating consumers; preventing fraud; creating responsible products. By overcoming these hurdles, we can help the poor become stakeholders in a sustainable global economy. Full text

2014

Progress Driven by a Common Vision
Asunción, Paraguay The Special Advocate praised Paraguay for being among the first countries in Latin America to launch a national financial inclusion strategy and cited the rigorous and thoughtful process leading up to its creation. By generating solid new data on topics such as remittances, insurance, and mobile financial services, Paraguay has been able to gain new insights and determine the best way forward. As the strategy's implementation begins, the UNSGSA encouraged attention to financial education and customer protection, and called on Paraguay to continue sharing its experiences with the world community. Full text
From “Flying Money” to Digital Finance: Innovation and Development through Financial Inclusion in China
Beijing, China Addressing students at Peking University, the Special Advocate spoke about the central role of financial inclusion in China’s efforts to expand equitable growth. China has a rich history of financial innovation and has dramatically reduced poverty and hunger in just a few decades. Still, 400 million remain financially excluded, particularly the rural poor, migrant workers, and small entrepreneurs. With a solid foundation in place and the government moving to expand financial access, technology and innovation hold great promise. Success depends on all actors working in support of a common vision. Full text