Queen Máxima to attend IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings
On the afternoon of Thursday 13 April and on Friday 14 April Her Majesty Queen Máxima will be attending the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. In her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) she will be discussing the importance of financial health and a robust digital public infrastructure for financial services. On the afternoon of Thursday 13 April and on Friday 14 April Her Majesty Queen Máxima will be attending the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. In her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) she will be discussing the importance of financial health and a robust digital public infrastructure for financial services.
Digitalisation is increasingly important in society. The same is true of financial services. In the past, people had to queue or travel long distances to transfer cash. Now they can make a transfer digitally with the click of a button. This is safer and quicker, and saves on travel costs. According to the Global Findex Database 2021, 76% of adults worldwide now have a bank account, either traditional or digital. The next step is reliable, affordable access to and safe use of insurance against medical expenses or the effects of climate change, loans for investing in a business, and savings products to boost financial health and resilience.
Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) is the technological cornerstone that is opening up digital services to developing countries. In the context of financial inclusion this means secure digital identification so that people can open a bank account and can participate in the digital economy, and safe data sharing so that financial products can be tailored to meet the needs of users, personal data can be protected and money can be transferred easily between private customers, businesses and government bodies. This includes having good telecommunications in place, to facilitate digital financial services in remote areas. DPI requires commitment not only from governments but also from financial institutions and businesses.
On Thursday afternoon Queen Máxima will be speaking at the Global Inclusive Growth Summit on financial products that contribute to financial health and resilience hosted by the Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth and the Aspen Institute. On Friday 14 April she will deliver the opening speech at the IMF seminar 'Digital Public Infrastructure: Stacking up the benefits'. The seminar will look at the contribution DPI can make to a more inclusive and fair society in which people can maximise their potential. Cooperation between governments and public parties is an essential part of this. Queen Máxima will then attend a panel discussion with a number of specialists, including IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Both events will be livestreamed.
In the margins of the events Queen Máxima will be meeting with government representatives from countries working to improve financial inclusion and from financial organisations. There will also be a meeting of the members of the Reference Group she works with, which includes the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Better than Cash Alliance, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, the IMF and the World Bank.
Since 2009, Queen Máxima has been working in her capacity as the UNSGSA to make financial services available to all, thus enhancing opportunities for economic and social development. There is special focus on disadvantaged groups including women, people on low incomes, SMEs and smallholder farmers. Queen Máxima has been honorary patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) since 2011.
Government Information Service, no. 87