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‘The world needs this’: New Zealand PM takes 3-month-old baby to UNGA session, netizens cheer

While the leader delivered her speech, Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford held the infant on his lap. As the prime minister continues to breastfeed her daughter, she accompanied her on the six-day trip to New York.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Published: September 25, 2018 11:46:08 am
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds her baby before speaking at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York. (Source: Reuters)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made history as she brought her three-month-old daughter to the United Nations General Assembly. Little Neve Te Aroha made her UN debut on Monday when her mother spoke at a peace summit in the General Assembly. While the leader delivered her speech, Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford held the infant on his lap.

Ardern’s partner, Gayford – a fishing television presenter – is Neve’s primary carer, and has travelled with Ardern to New York to look after the baby. He also shared a ID card for the infant as many requested him to share a photo of the baby’s security pass.

Gayford posted a photo on Twitter, which read as “first baby” of New Zealand. He also shared a tidbit about her debut at the UN, when Japanese delegation walked in during a nappy change! “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 (birthday),” he joked on Twitter.

“I have the ability to take my child to work, there’s not many places you can do that. I am not the gold standard for bringing up a child in this current environment because there are things about my circumstances that are not the same,” The Guardian quoted Ardern.

As the prime minister delivers her speech, her partner holds the baby in his lap. (Source: Reuters)

“If I can do one thing, and that is change the way we think about these things, then I will pleased we have achieved something,” she added.

“Prime Minister Ardern is showing that no one is better qualified to represent her country than a working mother. Just 5 percent of the world’s leaders are women, so we need to make them as welcome here as possible,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Reuters.

On social media too, people were thrilled to see the baby’s debut at the UN. While many went ‘awww’ seeing the world’s youngest diplomat, others highlighted how important and big deal this was.

The 38-year-old politician is only the second elected leader to give birth while in office, after Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto in 1990. After giving birth in June, Ardern returned to office in early August after taking six weeks maternity leave. The country recently also made “parliament friendlier for children and their parents” to especially help working lawmakers to balance motherhood and their professional life.

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