Queen Máxima to attend World Bank Group and IMF spring meetings

15 April 2015

On the afternoon of Thursday 16 and on Friday 17 April, Her Majesty Queen Máxima will attend the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC in her role as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.

On Friday 17 April, Queen Máxima will participate in the seminar 'Universal Financial Access 2020: Toward the Last Mile'. Together with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, she will take part in a panel discussion on the steps needed to ensure all the world's adults have access to financial services by 2020. During the seminar, the World Bank Group will also introduce the latest edition of the Global Findex. This is a global database containing up-to-date information on access to financial services in 143 economies.

At the World Bank Group annual meeting in 2013, Mr Kim and Queen Máxima called
for the acceleration of inclusive finance efforts and voiced their ambitions for 2020. World Bank Group research shows that people have a greater chance of economic development if they have access to a current account or savings account. These form the foundation for further access to financial services like insurance, pension schemes and loans. In emerging and developing countries, those living below the poverty line, sole proprietors and women still have very limited access to the formal financial system.

'The Little Data Book on Financial Inclusion' is a pocket editionof the Global Findex, published triennially by the World Bank Group. It gives information on the extent to which people in 143 economies make use of financial services. In her capacity as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, Queen Máxima places particular emphasis on the importance of detailed, harmonised and comparable data. These are essential for policymaking and developing innovative products, as well as for strategic planning and monitoring.

In addition to participating in the seminar, Queen Máxima will also meet with various governors of central banks and representatives from governments and regulatory bodies.

Queen Máxima was appointed to serve as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development in 2009. In this role she advises the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on universal access to financial services and works globally to make this a reality. Such access is crucial for the further development of lower income groups and small and medium-sized enterprises.

In June 2011 Queen Máxima also became honorary chair of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.


Independent provenance inquiry on the Royal Collections completed

31 March 2015

On 14 November 2013, the House of Orange-Nassau Historical Collections Trust, which is chaired by Her Majesty Queen Máxima, announced that it was ordering an independent inquiry to establish the provenance of art objects that have become part of the Royal Collections since 1933. The inquiry, which was conducted on the initiative of the King and Queen, has now been completed, and its report was published today.

The Royal Collections contain tens of thousands of objects. One painting was identified whose provenance, in the view of the supervisory committee, indicates that it was acquired as a result of involuntary loss of property during the German occupation. The work in question is The Hague Forest with a View of Huis ten Bosch Palace, by Joris van der Haagen, which was purchased from a Dutch art dealer by Queen Juliana in 1960, without any knowledge of its provenance.

The report presents the findings of the provenance inquiry. The results of the inquiry relating to the painting Landscape with St Hubert, by Paul Bril, are included in the annexe. The inquiry revealed that no involuntary loss of property was involved in the case of this painting.

The King and Queen consider it of great importance that an independent provenance inquiry has been carried out, and they stated in advance that it was essential for the Trust to act in accordance with the criteria drawn up by the government in relation to restitution. The heirs of the original owner of the painting by Van der Haagen have since been contacted, with a view to arranging its restitution. At the request of the heirs, no further information will be forthcoming, in the interests of safeguarding their privacy.


Official visit to the United States

31 March 2015

From Monday 1 June to Wednesday 3 June 2015 Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will make an official visit to the United States, travelling to Washington DC, Grand Rapids and Chicago. The visit will include a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House. Their Majesties will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders.

The visit will be an opportunity to recognise the major role played by the US in liberating the occupied Netherlands. In 2015 the Netherlands is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its liberation.

Economic cooperation will also be on the agenda, and an economic mission will run parallel to the official visit.

Queen Máxima to visit Myanmar to promote access to financial services

26 March 2015

From Monday 30 March to Wednesday 1 April 2015 Her Majesty Queen Máxima will visit Myanmar as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.

Queen Máxima is visiting Myanmar at the invitation of its government. The recently adopted Financial Inclusion Roadmap sets out how the finance and economics ministries, the central bank and the Financial Regulation Department intend to provide the country's inhabitants with access to safe and affordable financial services. The UN believes that the country has great potential for further economic development. Good access to bank and savings accounts, insurance and pensions is essential in this regard.

The visit will begin on Monday 30 March in Yangon, where Queen Máxima will hold talks with representatives of banks, microfinance institutions and telecom providers. It is important for these organisations to work together if more people are to make use of financial services. Mobile banking is a key tool for obtaining access to financial services (see Queen Máxima's speech to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 2 March 2015).

On Tuesday 31 March Queen Máxima will deliver a speech at Yangon University on the importance of access to financial services. She will also visit local entrepreneurs near Yangon who have been able to expand their businesses with the help of small loans.

On Wednesday 1 April Queen Máxima will attend the launch of the Financial Inclusion Roadmap in the capital Nay Pyi Taw. She will also meet with representatives of Myanmar's government, central bank and parliament, among others, to discuss the importance of access to financial services for the development of the country's people.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Queen Máxima as his Special Advocate in September 2009. In this capacity, she advises him on access to financial services and she also promotes access to financial services for people all over the world. This contributes to the development of low-income groups and small and medium-sized enterprises in particular. Since June 2011 Queen Máxima has been Honorary Chair of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI).

Queen Máxima attends Brussels working dinner on financial education

26 March 2015

On Wednesday 25 March Her Majesty Queen Máxima attended a private working dinner at the residence of the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the European Union in Brussels. She did so in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development and as honorary chair of the Money Wise Platform. Also present at the dinner, which focused on the importance of financial education in Europe, were European officials, policymakers and representatives of the financial sector.

The event, the first in a move to raise the profile of financial education in Europe, was hosted by the Dutch ambassador to the EU, Pieter de Gooijer, and the Chief Executive of the European Banking Federation, Wim Mijs. The Netherlands was also represented at the dinner by finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem and president of De Nederlandsche Bank Klaas Knot. Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, also attended, as did Jonathan Hill, Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, and Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture Youth and Sport. Other guests included the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the EU and current President of the Council of the EU, Ilze Juhansone, and a representative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

As the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, Queen Máxima champions access to financial services for all, and is keen to emphasise the importance of financial skills and responsible financial behaviour for young people and adults alike. 

The Money Wise Platform, an initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Finance, unites partners from the financial sector, government, and public information and consumer organisations. It was established to promote the importance of financial education and of managing money sensibly. One way it does this is through National Money Week, as part of which experts from financial institutions visit primary schools to teach children how to manage their money. This year a similar event, European Money Week, is being held for the first time.