New Zealand's prime minister just became the first female world leader to bring her baby to the UN general assembly

  • Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, brought her newborn baby to the United Nations general assembly – becoming the first world leader to do so.
  • Ardern played with baby Neve before giving a speech at the Nelson Mandela peace summit.
  • Ardern’s partner, Clarke Gayford, who is a stay-at-home-dad, looked after Neve during her speech.
  • Gayford shared a photo of Neve’s security pass on Twitter, which identified her as the “first baby.”

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern made history on Monday evening as the first female world leader to attend the United Nations general assembly with her newborn baby.

Ardern brought her infant baby Neve, who she gave birth to in June, to the meeting, where she played with her before giving a speech at the Nelson Mandela peace summit.

While Ardern was speaking, her partner Clarke Gayford, who is a stay-at-home dad, held the baby on his lap.

Gayford posted a photo on Twitter of an ID card he said staff made for Neve, complete with the title “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,” he wrote.

“Great yarn for her 21st.”

In June, Ardern became the first world leader to take maternity leave while in office.

When interviewed by NBC’s Today show, Ardern said that juggling parenthood and her role as prime minister had “met my expectations.” But she said that the joy she felt at Neve “had far surpassed my expectations.”

She said told the New Zeland Herald that Gayford’s tickets to New York and expenses would be paid for by the couple, rather than by the taxpayer, as Gayford was largely there to take care of Neve, rather than attend official engagements.

“There is no spousal programme for this, so we just made a judgment call that we would cover his travel for this trip. He will be going to some things, but he’s primarily travelling to care for Neve,” she said.

Ardern is only the second elected world leader to give birth while in office.

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