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New Zealand prime minister's newborn daughter steals the show at the UN

New Zealand PM's baby at UN
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern's new baby steals the show at the UN 02:07

NEW YORK — An unexpected scene in the audience at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly may end up doing more good than all the big political speeches combined.

Meet 3-month old Neve Ardern Gayford, daughter of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, just the second world leader to give birth while in office. Now she's also become the first to bring her baby to the United Nations, complete with her own baby name tag.

You could call it a canny political moment for Ardern who rose to power last year, defending the rights of working mothers and then promptly became a working mother herself.

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and National Security and Intelligence of New Zealand holds her daughter Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, as her husband Clarke Gayford looks on during the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit on Mon., Sept. 24, 2018, one a day before the start of the General Debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York. Getty

But at a time when women are still fewer than a quarter of all elected officials worldwide, it's obvious why the pictures of her with her baby matter. Perhaps less obvious is a key reason why it all seems to work.

Clarke Gayford is Ardern's partner and a TV-host-turned-stay-at-home dad for Neve. While mom was working, he was quietly breaking down some gender barriers of his own, proudly changing diapers on one of the world's biggest stages.

"I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change," he wrote. "Great yarn for her 21st."

Not a bad yarn for the rest of us either.

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