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.


Address at Unilever's "Post-2015 A New Global Partnership” Dinner
New York The UNSGSA explained that she focuses on inclusive finance because it is a means to achieve urgent development goals like food security, healthcare and environmental sustainability. She said that without infrastructure like roads and a stable financial sector, it will be very difficult to achieve any development goal. The private sector, both multinational and also SMEs, as well as knowledge institutions will be important partners to achieving these important outcomes--and for reaching scale and sustainability. She called attention to issues affecting both supply and demand, from the enabling environment to infrastructure for low-cost services, as well as products that meet client demands and have development impact.  Full text
Opening Remarks at the 2nd United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Inclusive Finance
New York Welcoming the many UN agencies present, the UNSGSA noted that inclusive finance as an enabler for development and equitable economic growth is well-recognized and will play a role in the post-2015 development agenda.  The UN is in a good position to advance holistic approaches that involve more partners, cut across sectors and utilize access to financial services to accelerate progress toward ends including food security, health, education, and women’s empowerment.  Noting increased UN-collaboration, the UNSGSA urged UN agencies to capitalize on new data to support effective policy making and investment, and to build scale and sustainability in financial services for the poor by pooling programs and replicating best practices.  Full text
Keynote Address at the 2013 AFI Global Policy Forum
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Despite remarkable progress and expanded commitment to financial inclusion at the national and international levels, one-third of people and hundreds of millions of SMEs still remain without formal financial services. The UNSGSA urged national regulators to implement global financial risk-based standards more widely in their own countries.  She reminded participants that inclusive financial systems are means to much larger goals – such as poverty reduction, job creation, food security, health, resilience, women’s empowerment, and others. But this requires cross-sector coordination.  Queen Máxima challenged countries to aim high as they set national financial inclusion goals and targets. She urged the AFI network to use its growing voice to help shape an inspiring vision for inclusive finance in the post-2015 development agenda, calling for a global aspiration for universal access to financial services both for households and enterprises by 2030. Full text
Public-Private Partnership to Strengthen Financial Inclusion and Financial Integrity
Swakopmund, Namibia Global standard setters like FATF are moving toward the concept of risk-based regulations that open doors for regulators and service providers to explore new ways to reach the unbanked. The challenge is now for more countries to interpret new guidance and apply it in their unique settings. The UNSGSA points to opportunities for public-private partnerships to strengthen the synergies between financial integrity, stability, and inclusion. One is to make personal identification widely available, another is to maintain ongoing dialogue as new products are introduced into the market to monitor AML, CFT and exclusion risks. Full text
Strengthening financial integrity through financial inclusion
Oslo, Norway The UNSGSA commended FATF’s leadership to address the risks of financial exclusion in its recommendations, guidance notes and mutual evaluation methodology. These hold the potential to bring many more people into the formal financial system without compromising the purpose of combating financial crime. She urged the FATF community not to stop its efforts, as many developing countries have yet to apply this guidance widely in diverse local contexts. Queen Máxima predicted that innovations in financial services will change the way AML/CFT risks are viewed. She voiced her hope that the Plenary would adopt pending guidance for new kinds of payments services, and continue consultations on emerging issues with financial service providers as well as regulators. She closed by highlighting FATF’s central role in helping build a safe, prosperous and equitable financial system, and the ripple effects this has on well-being far beyond the financial sector. She expressed her hope for FATF’s continued leadership on financial inclusion into the future. Full text
Accelerating Development through Inclusive and Responsible Financial Systems
Moscow, Russia The UNSGSA highlighted the enabling role of financial services in moving millions of families out of poverty, but also the increasing gap in financial capability. She noted that financial education, consumer protection, and responsible finance must go hand in hand with increased access. The UNSGSA also highlighted the role of national strategies in bringing all of these separate elements together, and encouraged cross-sector coordination among stakeholders. Full text
Financial Services to Help Migrants and Their Families Get the Most From Remittances
Bangkok, Thailand Queen Máxima highlighted the large role that remittances play in the well being of many households.  Despite the recent global economic downturn, the flow of international remittances has remained large and is expected to continue to increase.  But remitting money is expensive.  The UNSGSA challenged participants from government and the private sector to work together to lower the costs of remittances for senders and recipients alike through new products, more competition and mitigation of currency exchange risk, thus putting more money in the hands of receivers.  She encouraged providers to design products tailored to the changing patterns of migration, which include more women.  Another area for priority action is helping receivers use the money in the best possible way.  Full text
Delivering on Financial Inclusion for Development: Reaching Scale, Rural Areas and Women
Amsterdam, the Netherlands The UNSGSA congratulated CGAP on its new strategy and recognized the important role of the organization in disseminating knowledge and best practices on financial inclusion. She highlighted the significant progress that has been made over the last few years and suggested priorities going forward, including getting to scale, private sector engagement, and a focus on rural areas and women. Queen Máxima reminded participants about the importance of engaging in the Post-2015 development process around the essential role inclusive finance can play in supporting poverty alleviation.  Full text
Building Opportunity for Women and Advancing Development through Financial Inclusion
Washington, DC, USA Social and economic development goals can only be achieved if women are fully engaged and empowered. Financial services play an important role in making this a reality.  In this context, rural women deserve particular attention and support. Queen Máxima commended the many stakeholders who have recognized this and are responding with products and policies designed for women. She also drew attention to the importance of helping women build resilience for themselves and their families, such as against illness and other emergencies. Full text
Transforming Excess Liquidity into Finance for SMEs in Emerging Markets
Amsterdam, the Netherlands Speaking in her capacity as the UNSGSA and Honorary Patron of the G20 GPFI, Queen Máxima congratulated TCX on its work to strengthen local financial institutions and called for greater efforts considering that about 200 million enterprises in emerging markets lack access to finance.  The Queen challenged participants to work on strengthening financial infrastructure in emerging markets and to help develop financial and securities markets thus addressing the mismatch between demand for loans and excess involuntary liquidity in local banks.   Full text