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Two thirds of the world's population live without social security protection, according to a United Nations report released Thursday which prompted calls from key leaders for improved welfare.
About 5.1 billion people out of the 7.0 billion global population lack adequate social security or social protection and only about 15 percent of the world's jobless receive some form of unemployment benefit, said the report.
At a time when many western countries are cutting back on benefits, a high-level panel headed by former Chilean president Michele Bachelet called on the Group of 20 powers summit at Cannes, France next week to extend welfare protection.
Their report, "Social Protection Floor for a Fair and Inclusive Globalization" said a wider spread of benefits would boost economic growth and head off social tensions.
"If you ensure that people thrive you will have a more peaceful and stable country," Bachelet said at a press conference launching the report.
The presidents of France and Brazil were among leaders to welcome the report, according to a statement released by the International Labour Office, a UN agency.
"Building up a social protection floor in each country will take time," said French leader Nicolas Sarkozy, who will host the G20 summit on November 3-4.
"Certainly we cannot impose upon the poorest countries the standards and social systems of the wealthiest. But progress must be made," he added.
Brazil's President Dilma Roussett said her country is "committed to the implementation of the social protection floor" and the work of Bachelet, who has since become head of the UN Women agency, would influence social policies around the world.