Queen Máxima to attend Spring Meeting of World Bank Group and IMF

From Friday 20 to the morning of Saturday 21 April, Her Majesty Queen Máxima will attend the Spring Meeting of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.

On Friday 20 April Queen Máxima will attend the seminar ‘Moving from Financial Access to Inclusion: Leveraging the Power of Technology’. Together with Dr Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, she will speak about the latest edition of the organisation’s Global Findex database. A new edition is released every three years and provides insight into the extent to which people in 144 economies are using financial services. According to the 2015 Findex, 2 billion people around the world still have no access to formal financial services, f.e. a bank or savings account. This forms a barrier to their economic potential. The people primarily affected are those living in poverty, smallholder farmers in developing countries and women. Technological innovations can help increase access to financial services and their use.

As the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate, Queen Máxima works to stress the importance of databases like the Global Findex. Detailed, comparable data that can be filtered by gender, age and financial product, for example, form a fundamental basis for policymaking, the development of innovative products, and strategic planning and monitoring. During the seminar, Queen Máxima will also take part in a panel discussion with representatives of government and the private sector. She will also deliver the keynote address at the ‘Turning Data into Action: Propelling Full Financial Inclusion for Women’ event, organized by the Women’s Financial Inclusion Data Partnership at the UN Foundation.

In addition, the Queen is due to hold several bilateral meetings with government representatives and presidents of central banks to discuss progress on inclusive financing in their countries. She will also meet with her focus group, the ‘Reference Group’. The group brings together, amongst others, representatives of the World Bank, the IMF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI).

Queen Máxima was appointed UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development in September 2009. She advises on access to financial services and works worldwide to make these services available to everyone, targeting low-income groups and SMEs in particular. Since June 2011 the Queen has been Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI).