One consort holds a very special role within the United Nations.
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands has held the position of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development since being appointed by then-Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2009.
The Queen, who has a background in banking and finance prior to her marriage to King Willem-Alexander, works to expand access to financial services across the globe – but particularly in underdeveloped areas.
Her Majesty travels to different countries to see their financial challenges and what the UN can do to help. She stresses the importance of financial inclusion during these trips and at events like the World Economic Forum and the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Máxima works alongside the G20, World Bank, World Economic Forum, global standard-setting bodies (SSBs) and world leaders to extend access to financial services to those in lesser developed nations. It is considered an essential part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to build a better future for the world.
She is also known to meet with individuals and families in countries with a lack of financial institutions to find out what works and doesn’t work regarding inclusion. The Queen then uses this information, alongside the help of the UNSGSA partners, to assist in financial inclusion across the world.
Since 2011, account ownership at a financial institution has increased 50%, and the financial gender gap has decreased from 7% to 4% since 2017. The Queen’s role as Special Advocate has been crucial to this success.
You can read more about Queen Máxima‘s role here.