Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived at the United Nations headquarters on Tuesday to attend a welcome reception hosted by UN Secretary General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres.

The reception is being held for the heads of states and governments participating in the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

During a busy day in New York today, the premier will attend the opening of the high-level general debate of the 77th session in the general assembly hall.

He will also hold bilateral meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Spanish President Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon, and Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi.

In the afternoon, the prime minister will visit the Times Centre for an interview with the New York Times’ editorial board.

Later, he will be called on by US Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry.

On September 21, Shehbaz will meet International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank President David Malpass and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Besides meeting with the UNGA president, the prime minister will also attend a dinner reception to be hosted by US President Joe Biden.

Meetings with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, UNSG Guterres, Chinese President Premier Li Keqiang and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will also be a part of PM Shehbaz’s engagements.

On September 23, the prime minister will address the UNGA session, where his speech will focus on challenges faced by Pakistan in wake of the recent climate-induced catastrophic floods in the country.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb will accompany the prime minister during his trip alongside other senior officials.

This year’s general assembly is particularly significant because this will be the first in-person summit of world leaders at the UN since 2019. The 2020 and 2021 sessions were converted into virtual meetings because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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