Watch: Melania Trump focuses on children during UN luncheon address

Posted at 9:13 AM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 13:46:01-04

First lady Melania Trump assumed the spotlight in New York Wednesday, hosting a luncheon at the United Nations, where she delivered a speech focused on a variety of issues facing children across the globe.

“Together, we must acknowledge that all too often it is the weakest, most innocent and vulnerable among us — our children — who ultimately suffer the most from the challenges that plague our societies,” the first lady said. “Whether it is drug addiction, bullying, poverty, disease, trafficking, illiteracy, or hunger, it is the children who are hit first and hardest in any country. And as we all know, the future of every nation rests with the promise of their young people.”

Trump, hosting the other first spouses of world leaders, called on the group to help her with her cause to assist children all over the globe.

“We much teach each child the values of empathy and communication,” Trump said.

Dubbed “the star of the Trump family” by the President, Trump has not yet formally revealed her platform as first lady, but aides say it’s coming “soon.”

She has so far identified women’s empowerment and access to education for women and girls as key priorities for her East Wing. Trump has also subtly signaled other issues of interest — she has now made seven separate visits to children’s hospitals, and in early April, she visited a local shelter for abused women and children in South Florida.

In rare public remarks at a State Department event in March, Trump spoke passionately about women’s and children’s issues.

“As leaders of our shared global economy, we must continue to work towards gender empowerment and respect for people from all backgrounds and ethnicities, remembering always that we are all ultimately members of one race, the human race. Each one of us is uniquely different,” Trump said, honoring 12 women at the 2017 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Awards.

“We must continue to fight injustice in all its forms, in whatever scale or shape it takes in our lives. Together, we must declare that the era of allowing brutality against women and children is over, while affirming that the time for empowering women around the world is now. For wherever women are diminished, the entire world is diminished with them,” she said.

While the first lady kept a low profile since moving into the White House this June, she has ramped up her public appearances in recent weeks, hosting a dinner for the White House Historical Association last week, visiting with children at Andrews Air Force Base, and traveling to Hurricane-ravaged Texas and Florida with the President in the wake of the two devastating storms.

In July, Trump joined the President on international trips to Poland, Germany and France, where she wowed the fashion world, but spoke only briefly.

Trump continues a whirlwind week, making her first solo trip abroad to lead the United States delegation to the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, a charity started by Britain’s Prince Harry, who will also be in attendance.