Queen Máxima to give virtual opening speech at ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit

Her Majesty Queen Máxima, in her UN special advocate role, will give the opening speech at the ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit on Thursday 12 November. The theme will be women’s role in building a cohesive, dynamic, sustainable and inclusive ASEAN community in a post COVID-19 world. The online meeting will be attended by invited participants only and will take place on the first day of the 37th ASEAN Summit, organised this year by Vietnam.

In her capacity as United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), Queen Máxima will speak about the importance of good access to and use of financial services for better opportunities for development. The current coronavirus crisis shows that inclusive finance is an important instrument for cushioning the socio-economic impact. According to the World Bank Group’s 2017 Global Findex, in many Asian countries less than 50% of the adult population have access to a formal bank account.

Queen Máxima giving online speech.
Image: ©Rotapool / Patrick van Katwijk
Queen Máxima during the opening speech at the ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit.

Queen Máxima focuses in particular on disadvantaged groups, including women, small business owners, smallholdings and people on low incomes. She highlights that the development of public goods, such as good telecommunication networks, cybersecurity, data protection, digital identification and financial and digital skills, are key to making full and secure use of financial services. This is in line with the recommendations of the ASEAN Working Committee on Financial Inclusion.

Invited participants in the Women Leaders’ Summit include heads of state and senior government representatives of member states, as well as representatives of international organisations such as the World Bank Group. ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has ten member states and aims to promote economic, cultural and political cooperation.

Government Information Service, no. 212