25th June 2012 Baroness Goudie: My Lords, I thank the Leader of the House for repeating the Statement. I declare an interest as a member of the La Pietra Coalition, which is a group of international NGOs and global corporations that came together three years ago to try to influence the G20. Among the items on which we have been trying to influence the G20 is access to finance for women and youth around the world. I am very grateful to officials in Treasury and DfID who have worked very closely with us over the past three years, and I am pleased that at long last there is the following phrase in the communiqué:
"We recognise the need for women and youth to gain access to financial services and financial education".
It is stated that the OECD and one or two other international organisations will be responsible for this. Given that this Government have played such a part in this matter over the past three years, we should officially take this policy on board, keep an eye on it, and ensure that that access to financial services and financial education does happen, because we know that the GDPs of countries change enormously when women have access to finance and can educate their children.
Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, the noble Baroness is quite right and I very much welcome her welcome for the initiative. The Government are very pleased to receive these independent reports from NGOs, particularly regarding the extremely important areas of access for women and financial education. We certainly should keep an eye on it and I shall make sure that officials in the departments are aware of what the noble Baroness said.