NEW Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern turned heads on Monday by bringing her three-month-old daughter to the UN General Assembly in New York.
The 38-year-old shot to international fame after giving birth while in office – only the second world leader to do so.
Baby Neve watched on Monday while her mother spoke at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit in the main United Nations assembly hall. She was held by Ms Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford, a television fishing show host who is the main caregiver for their daughter.
Later Ms Ardern took over, holding Neve as other leaders spoke.
Mr Gayford also tweeted a picture of the infant’s UN diplomatic photo ID that classified her as “New Zealand first baby”.
“I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation inside UN yesterday who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change. Great yarn for her 21st,” he wrote.
Because everyone on twitter’s been asking to see Neve’s UN id, staff here whipped one up.
I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation inside UN yesterday who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change.
Great yarn for her 21st. pic.twitter.com/838BI96VYX
— Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) September 24, 2018
Ms Ardern also appeared on The Today Show in the US, the flagship morning program on NBC News, and said her appreciation for the work of parents had increased since having Neve.
“It’s met my expectations,” she said of the difficulties of parenting but added, “the joy, though, has far surpassed my expectations”.
When asked what was harder — taking a three-month-old on a 17-hour flight or running the country, she joked: “It felt at the time on par I have to say!”.
Ms Ardern said she also apologised to other passengers in advance of her flight.
“There’s that look though that you get when you walk onto a plane with a little one, that stare from other passengers which I felt very conscious of,” she said.
“I actually did apologise in advance.”
Ms Ardern became prime minister in October just three months after taking charge of the Labour Party as it languished in the polls. She returned to work last month after a six-week maternity leave.
The only other woman to give birth while in office was the late Benazir Bhutto, who was prime minister of Pakistan when her daughter was born in 1990.
Ms Ardern had already announced that they would travel as a family to the United Nations in New York, where she will address the General Assembly. Earlier on Monday, she spoke at the launch of the annual “Climate Week” event.
Pregnancy, motherhood and her coalition government have turned her into a poster child for feminism against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement in the United States, where she is taking part in a series of media appearances.
— With AFP
Originally published as Jacinda hit the UN with baby in tow