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.
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
“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.
“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.
Hero to working moms everywhere, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern arrives with her baby in a stroller at the UNGA pic.twitter.com/cw365yHVc5
— Steven D’Souza (@cbcsteve) September 24, 2018
“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.
This story is important because:
1. This should be the norm
2. The presence of a child may help politicians keep things in perspective
3. A reminder that we need a baby UNhttps://t.co/IzBbJHmyTT
— Cameron Williams (@MrCamW) September 25, 2018
— Jen Crozier (@jencrozier) September 25, 2018
This is amazing! Also, @jacindaardern becoming the first female leader to attend the @UN Genderal Assembly with a baby is challenging the conventional stereotypes women receive when returning to work or on their capacity to lead and be mothers! #girlstakeoverparliament https://t.co/g6kbR7uecF
— Caitlin Figueiredo (@CaitFigueiredo) September 25, 2018
What at utter indictment on the body that represents the entire planet and the old men who’ve been running it so far, that it has to wait 73 years for the inclusion of something as essential to humanity as the presence of a BABY in the building. Well done @jacindaardern
— Peter Bayley (@peterbayley) September 25, 2018
That’s great and I’m happy for her. Unfortunately, both my babies were banned from the UN Human Rights Council room in Geneva due to “security reasons”. My mum was walking with them on the corridors texting me when I had to come for nursing which I did in toilets & empty offices.
— Izsák-Ndiaye Rita (@IzsakRita) September 25, 2018
— Michelle Nichols (@michellenichols) September 24, 2018
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) September 25, 2018
Ya know, for fathers worldwide, this sure is a damned fine look. New Zealand, our progressiveness is showing on the world stage–and doesn’t it feel so fine? @NZClarke and baby Neve at the UN. #nzpol pic.twitter.com/43q4az70Tj
— Tracey Barnett (@TraceyBarnett) September 24, 2018
I know the cynics will be out in full force but as I head off to a meeting this makes me feel happy- @jacindaardern is taking the grounded reality of being a mum & working for a better world to a new level-good on her- it’s hard & besides, UN needs to see more & think about kids! https://t.co/wADWw3V2qz
— Bronwyn Hayward (@BMHayward) September 24, 2018
— Tseday (ፀደይ) (@Tseday) September 25, 2018
— Coleen MacKinnon (@ColeenMacK_AUS) September 25, 2018
— Brett Bruen (@BrettBruen) September 24, 2018
— IOTTM (@IOTTM) September 25, 2018
— Lauren Oppenheimer (@LaurenOpp) September 25, 2018
The UN gave Neve an ID calling her ‘New Zealand First Baby’! I’m dead. https://t.co/04mBN97l7h
— Kathleen Calderwood (@kt_calderwood) September 25, 2018
— Stephanie Anderson (@stephanieando) September 25, 2018
This is genuinely uplifting. The world needs more politicians like @jacindaardern (and more supportive role models like @NZClarke, who makes the rest of us look pretty piss poor). https://t.co/0zpcgLyHW6
— Michael Stumpf (@theosysbio) September 25, 2018
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.