Sep 18, 2021 – New York: While taking a lead on universal social protection, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations convened the first meeting of Group of Friends on Social Protection alongwith Turkey, Nigeria and Costa Rica. The meeting was attended by a large number of UN member states. In her keynote address, Dr. Sania Nishtar highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to disburse cash payments of $1.25bn to more than 160 million of its citizens who were in dire need of financial support to meet the challenges posed by global economic slowdown caused by Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier, Permanent Representative of Pakistan Ambassador Munir Akram, in his welcome remarks highlighted the need for universal social protection. The World Bank as technical partner of the Group highlighted the significance of social protection instruments all over the world. During the event, several countries supported Pakistan for taking a leadership position on universal social protection. Full footage can be watched here.