The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), also known as the Second Committee, is the committee under the United Nations (UN) General Assembly that was officially established in 1945. ECOFIN is unique in that it focuses on the globalised economy and provides financial assistance to countries. As one of the General Assemblies of the UN, it is open to all UN member states and meets the same parliamentary procedures as every other UN main organ. This committee mainly deals with issues relating to economic growth and sustainable development such as macroeconomic policy questions, financing for development, human settlements, eradication of poverty, and other forms of economic issues that ultimately lead to the encouragement of regional growth and support for all nations through global partnerships.
About 1.7 billion adults worldwide are unbanked and underbanked, meaning that they do not possess a bank account or use a mobile money service. This condition has stifled business expansion, suppressed customer demand, and impeded overall economic growth. To mitigate this, nations have invested in innovative financial technologies to create greater financial inclusivity and accessibility. While substantial progress has been made over the years to “bank the unbanked”, one-third of adults around the world still remain financially excluded. Further efforts to improve financial inclusion are pivotal as widespread inclusion can potentially increase the GDP of emerging markets by 6%, by 2025, and leads to the creation of 95 million jobs. Financial accessibility is crucial to small businesses in emerging markets; Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies, and are critical contributors to job growth and global economic development. Delegates at ECOFIN seek to discuss methods to encourage financial inclusion in emerging markets through innovations to ultimately achieve positive, sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all.