NEW YORK (AP) — First lady Melania Trump called on world leaders Wednesday to come together for the good of their children, delivering her first public remarks at the United Nations as the White House works to strengthen its relationships abroad.
Warning that children are closely watching the example of adults, she told the spouses of world leaders that they "must teach each other the values of empathy and communication that are at the core of kindness, mindfulness, integrity and leadership."
"We must come together for the good of our children," Trump said at a luncheon at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She added: "We must remember that they are watching and listening, so we must never miss an opportunity to teach life's many ethical lessons along the way."
Mrs. Trump said it was time to "turn our focus right now to the message and content they are exposed to on a daily basis — social media, the bullying" and more.
She spoke just days after President Donald Trump retweeted a mock video that appeared to show him whacking a golf ball that knocks down Hillary Clinton.
The first lady's head table featured the spouses of French President Emmanuel Macron, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, among others.
The 47-year-old first lady has played a muted role in the early months of her husband's administration. She announced plans to combat cyber bullying during the campaign, but has yet to come out with any specific policies.
In remarks that lasted less than eight minutes, Trump said children are often "hit first and hardest in any country" when it comes to drug addiction, bullying, poverty, disease, trafficking, illiteracy and hunger.
"No child should ever feel hungry, stalked, frightened, terrorized, bullied, isolated or afraid, with nowhere to turn," she said. "We need to step up, come together, and ensure that our children's future is bright."
She avoided North Korea and the more contentious foreign policy challenges facing her husband's administration.
Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.