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PM to appear on US TV to promote NZ

Sep 21, 2018

The Prime Minister leaves for the United States tomorrow for her first formal trip to the United Nations.

About 140 leaders will descend on Manhattan next week for the week long UN General Assembly.

Jacinda Ardern said much of her focus would be on support for the UN and other multilateral institutions, which she said mattered a huge amount to countries like New Zealand.

The integrity of the multilateral system is under threat with the United States pulling out of the Paris Agreement, the UN Human Rights Council, the Iran nuclear agreement and UN Educational and Cultural Agency.

Ms Ardern said while New Zealand was a small player at the United Nations its voice was important.

"I think we really are in an environment where we need to redefine power, because if we are going to reinforce these multilateral institutions, we need to start looking at power differently.

"It can't just be the size of your economy and your population and so New Zealand's strength is in our consistency - the consistency of our message, the values that we have."

Ms Ardern will also be holding one-on-one meetings with leaders.

"The focus for me with bilateral meetings is around forming relationships with new leaders, but also our trade agenda so obviously the EU is a bit of a focus for us."

But the trip will not just be about buttoned-down meetings at the UN headquarters - Ms Ardern is also appearing on some high-profile American television programmes - the Today Show, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and CNN.

Former prime minister John Key also appeared on the Late Show.

The primary question she asked herself was what the benefit to New Zealand was of any media appearances in the US.

"We've kept it pretty small, we've kept it to three, but with them there is a combined audience of more than 7 million people.

"So I see that as an opportunity in at least one of the interviews to talk about New Zealand's values and our focus at the General Assembly, for the others it's a chance to promote New Zealand."

Ms Ardern will give keynote speeches at the opening of Climate Week, President Macron's Global Planet Summit, the Social Good Summit and the International Conference on Sustainable Development World Leaders Forum.

She will also meet with Anne Hathaway, the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.

Main Image: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Parliament suffrage event. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

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