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Ayden Férdeline
Ayden Férdeline

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Digital Financial Inclusion and the United Nations Internet Governance Forum

Dynamic Coalitions are open, multistakeholder initiatives operating within the framework of the United Nation’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF) which are chartered to address specific issues related to Internet governance.

I’m pleased to share that the IGF Secretariat has now recognized and permitted the formation of the Dynamic Coalition on Digital Financial Inclusion, which is dedicated to bridging the gap between financial technologies, financial institutions, and the significant portion of the global population that remains unbanked or underbanked.

We launched the Dynamic Coalition on Digital Financial Inclusion today on the standing call of the Dynamic Coalition Coordination Group, where one other initiative was also launched. NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the European Space Agency announced the formation of the Dynamic Coalition on the Interplanetary Internet.

As I have written about previously on this forum, the UN is currently in a period of policy innovation and the IGF is at the heart of the Internet governance ecosystem: every year it attracts over 8,000 participants, including parliamentarians and other elected representatives from over 100 countries, to work on solutions that address the Internet’s various public policy issues. It is a space for shared learning and for monitoring society’s collective progress in building an inclusive, human rights-based, people-centred Internet. Because digital financial inclusion is an underexplored issue within the IGF, it was important that we intentionally carve out a space within this political environment for discussions around how interoperable payment protocols can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Over the next six months, the Dynamic Coalition on Digital Financial Inclusion will be meeting periodically to answer this research question: How can the adoption of open, global interoperable payments networks overcome existing barriers and leverage opportunities to enhance financial inclusion across diverse stakeholder groups, and how will this shape the evolution of the Internet and digital economy by 2030?

Our approach to this research will be currency and network-agnostic, emphasizing universal access, regulatory support for fintech innovations, and robust digital literacy and consumer protection. We will work openly, and we seek to feed the outputs from this work into other United Nations processes, including other activities within the IGF ecosystem.

The next IGF will take place from December 15 to 19, 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We intend to present a research report from the Dynamic Coalition at this conference.

I would like to invite you to join me in this endeavor. We have the opportunity to introduce new actors to open, interoperable payment networks and protocols - like the Interledger Protocol - and to build allies within national governments and leading civil society organizations. We have a lot of work to do along the way, but I believe the IGF can help us realize a more inclusive, democratic, and decentralized financial ecosystem. Whether you are from government, the private sector, or civil society, your insights and contributions are invaluable and wanted within the Dynamic Coalition on Digital Financial Inclusion. Together, we can ensure that the digital economy is inclusive and equitable.

If you would like to join the working group, please subscribe to this mailing list:

Finally, I am asked to share the following text:

While Dynamic Coalitions operate autonomously outside of the IGF decision-making structures, Dynamic Coalitions, which are recognized by the IGF Secretariat, function within the IGF framework and comply with the IGF principles and its code of conduct.

The views and opinions expressed by Dynamic Coalitions do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations Secretariat. The designations and terminology employed may not conform to United Nations practice and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Organization.

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