Melania Trump dines with spouses of world leaders at UN

Melania Trump (right) and France's First Lady Brigitte Macron greet guests at the luncheon.
Melania Trump (right) and France's First Lady Brigitte Macron greet guests at the luncheon.PHOTO: AFP
Melania Trump arrives to address other first spouses of world leaders at the UN luncheon.
Melania Trump arrives to address other first spouses of world leaders at the UN luncheon.PHOTO: AFP

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) - US First Lady Melania Trump dined with the spouses of dozens of world leaders at the United Nations on Wednesday (Sept 20), calling on them to protect children and teach them by example.

Often criticised for her reluctance to fully assume the role of first lady, President Donald Trump's third wife gave a brief speech before presiding over the luncheon held during this year's meeting of the UN General Assembly.

"We must teach each child the values of empathy and communication that are at the core of the kindness, mindfulness, integrity and leadership which can only be taught by example," Trump said.

"No child should ever feel hungry, stalked, frightened, terrorised, bullied, isolated or afraid, with nowhere to turn," she 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," Trump said.

The First Lady's denunciations of bullying have come under criticism due to her husband's propensity for pugilistic rhetoric and personal attacks.

Trump was warmly applauded by luncheon attendees, who were seated at dozens of tables decorated with roses and serenaded by a quartet.