The UNCITRAL Secretariat is organizing an International Colloquium on Microfinance on 12-13 January 2011 at the Vienna International Centre, Austria.
At its forty-third session, in 2010, UNCITRAL recognized that microfinance could play an important role as a tool for the alleviation of poverty and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals since it facilitates access to financial services to the many poor who are not currently served by the formal financial system. The Commission also noted that an appropriate regulatory environment contributes to the development of the microfinance sector.
As indicated by the Commission, the Colloquium is aimed at a broad international audience of delegates of United Nations member States, representatives of international and inter-governmental organizations, experts from other organizations working actively on microfinance and academia. The Colloquium will explore the legal and regulatory issues surrounding microfinance falling within the mandate of UNCITRAL with a view to reporting to the Commission at its next session (Vienna, 27 June - 15 July 2011), outlining the issues at stake and containing recommendations on work that UNCITRAL might usefully undertake in the field.
After an introduction on the role of financial inclusion in poverty reduction and in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the Colloquium will focus on the role of country policy frameworks in microfinance, the most recent technological and institutional innovations to improve access to microfinance and the current challenges in the sector. Key inter-governmental initiatives which influence the development of microfinance will be presented. Particular attention will be drawn to legal and regulatory issues of the sector as well as to any element of transnationality in the development of microfinance regulations.
The Colloquium will be conducted on an informal basis. Interpretation in the six official languages of the United Nations will be available.