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United Nations General Assembly 2018

This series decodes deals, political moves, and gossip at the world’s biggest political summit.

Reuters/Carlo Allegri
All in the family.
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Photos: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern brings her baby girl to the UNGA

Johnny Simon
By Johnny Simon

Deputy Photo Editor

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the world’s youngest female head of state, is now the first to bring her child to the UN General Assembly, as her 3-month-old daughter Neve Gayford attended the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit.

In June, Ardern, 38, became the first world leader in decades to give birth in office. Images of baby Neve have been a rarity in New Zealand, as the prime minister’s office has been exceptionally protective of images of her young daughter. In August, the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Auckland was warned about taking unauthorized images of Neve.

Ardern has acknowledged that while the privacy of her child is important, her singular role as a head of state who also happens to be a new mother will attract attention. “I love that people have shared in this joy with us, and that’s been because I have a really public role and so I accept that means that our family life will be quite public…But at the same time, I’ve chosen a public life, Neve hasn’t,” she told the New Zealand website Newsroom.

Yesterday (Sept. 24), Clarke Gayford, Ardern’s parnter, sat with their daughter while she addressed the peace summit in New York.

Ardern and Gayford’s reticence to show off their newborn make the UN images all the most interesting. While they’ve avoided having Neve photographed in New Zealand, the couple made an exception for the largest of global stages.

Reuters/Carlo Allegri
Ardern reacts as she sees her baby Neve at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit on Sept. 24.
Reuters/Carlo Allegri
Ardern sits with partner Clarke Gayford and their daughter.
Reuters/Carlo Allegri
Gayford holds Neve as Ardern speaks.
Reuters/Carlo Allegri
Ardern holds her baby.