Queen Máxima to attend World Bank Group and IMF spring meetings

On the afternoon of Thursday 16 and on Friday 17 April, Her Majesty Queen Máxima will attend the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC in her role as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.

On Friday 17 April, Queen Máxima will participate in the seminar ‘Universal Financial Access 2020: Toward the Last Mile’. Together with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, she will take part in a panel discussion on the steps needed to ensure all the world’s adults have access to financial services by 2020. During the seminar, the World Bank Group will also introduce the latest edition of the Global Findex. This is a global database containing up-to-date information on access to financial services in 143 economies.

At the World Bank Group annual meeting in 2013, Mr Kim and Queen Máxima called for the acceleration of inclusive finance efforts and voiced their ambitions for 2020. World Bank Group research shows that people have a greater chance of economic development if they have access to a current account or savings account. These form the foundation for further access to financial services like insurance, pension schemes and loans. In emerging and developing countries, those living below the poverty line, sole proprietors and women still have very limited access to the formal financial system.

‘The Little Data Book on Financial Inclusion’ is a pocket edition of the Global Findex, published triennially by the World Bank Group. It gives information on the extent to which people in 143 economies make use of financial services. In her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, Queen Máxima places particular emphasis on the importance of detailed, harmonised and comparable data. These are essential for policymaking and developing innovative products, as well as for strategic planning and monitoring.

In addition to participating in the seminar, Queen Máxima will also meet with various governors of central banks and representatives from governments and regulatory bodies.

Queen Máxima was appointed to serve as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development in 2009. In this role she advises the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on universal access to financial services and works globally to make this a reality. Such access is crucial for the further development of lower income groups and small and medium-sized enterprises.

In June 2011 Queen Máxima also became honorary chair of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.