Queen Máxima to attend opening of G20 workshop on financial services for the displaced

On the morning of Monday 10 September Her Majesty Queen Máxima will attend the opening of the High-Level Workshop on the Financial Inclusion of Forcibly Displaced Persons of the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) at the Spaansche Hof in The Hague. The workshop will focus on the importance for displaced people of proper access to financial services. Queen Máxima is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) and Honorary Patron of the GPFI. 

The German G20 presidency in 2017 put financial empowerment of forcibly displaced persons (FDPs) high on the agenda of the GPFI, which strives as part of the G20 to improve access to financial services. The World Bank stresses the importance of safe, affordable access to savings and other bank accounts, loans and other forms of finance, insurance and pensions for people’s sustainable economic progress and social and personal development. People who have been forced to leave their homes by for example war or conflict – 68.5 million people, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – usually have poor access to financial services in their host countries and communities. This undermines their ability to contribute to the local economy, realise their potential and use their talents. The G20 leaders have asked the GPFI to draft a roadmap for support to this group. Argentina, the holder of this year’s G20 presidency, asked the Netherlands to organise a workshop on the issue. 

The workshop opening that Queen Máxima is attending will include welcoming remarks by GPFI Chair Gabriel Bizama of the Argentinean Ministry of Finance. Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag and Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, Senior Adviser to the UNHCR on Private Sector Partnerships, will then give speeches. A panel discussion will follow on the zero draft of the G20 Roadmap for Sustainable and Responsible Financial Inclusion for FDPs, moderated by Greta Bull, CEO of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). Participants in the panel will include Maha Bahou, CEO of Jordan Payments and Clearing Company (Jo-PACC) and CGAP Executive Committee member, and Tarek Mitri, director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, former minister in four Lebanese governments, and former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Libya.  

The G20 is an international forum made up of the 19 countries with the world’s largest economies plus the European Union. Its aim is to contribute to global economic growth and development. 

Queen Máxima has been working as UNSGSA since 2009 to ensure worldwide access to financial services for everyone, including low-income people and SMEs, as a means of enhancing their opportunities for economic and social development. She has been Honorary Patron of the GPFI since 2011.