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Friday, September 27, 2013

Postal financial inclusion highlighted at UN inter-agency meeting

25.09.2013 - UPU Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz told top UN officials and senior financial inclusion experts this week that Posts have a key role to play in improving financial inclusion.

The meeting on inclusive finance was held on the sidelines of the UN general assembly
“Given their widespread presence in rural and poor areas, post offices can play a leading role in advancing financial inclusion,” said Clivaz by video link to the United Nation’s second inter-agency meeting on inclusive finance, held on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in New York
“Post offices are relatively more likely than traditional financial institutions to provide accounts to individuals who are financially excluded such as the poor, less educated and those out of the labour force.”
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the UN secretary-general's special advocate for inclusive finance for development, recognized the Post’s contributions to financial inclusion in her remarks. She stressed the importance of financial inclusion for social and economic development.
“Financial inclusion is not the ends, but a means to broader outcomes such as poverty reduction, health, women’s empowerment and more,” said Queen Máxima, who also spoke on the topic at the UPU Congress in Doha last year.
One billion people already use the postal sector for savings and deposit accounts, but the UPU says the global postal network, with more than 600,000 post offices, is underused for financial inclusion.
According to its research, postal operators and their postal financial subsidiaries are the world's second biggest contributor to financial inclusion after banks.
The UPU provides technical assistance, conducts research on postal financial inclusion and helps foster cooperation between countries thanks to support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Union also works with the International Fund for Agricultural Development to expand the global payment network and other financial services to rural areas, lowering costs for end users.
The UPU will hold a global forum on financial inclusion for development on 24-25 October in Geneva. The forum, organized with the Switzerland's department of foreign affairs and the International Organization of La Francophonie, will be a platform for dialogue between governments, postal operators, central banks, private sector players and international organizations.

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