Melania Trump focuses on children during UN luncheon address

Story highlights

  • First lady Melania Trump is in New York
  • She is hosting a luncheon and delivered remarks

New York (CNN)First lady Melania Trump assumed the spotlight in New York Wednesday, hosting a luncheon at the US Mission to the United Nations, where she delivered a speech focused on a variety of issues facing children across the globe and hinted at her forthcoming platform.

"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 spouses of world leaders, called on the group to help her with her cause to assist children all over the globe.
    "We must teach each child the values of empathy, communication -- a core of mindfulness, integrity and leadership, which can only be taught by example," Trump said.
    She pointed specifically to cyberbullying and drug addiction as challenges facing children she hoped to combat, noting that she planned to work with the spouses of global leaders assembled at the luncheon, as well as community and education leaders along with leaders on social media whose target market for products and platforms is children.
    "We must turn our focus right now to the message and content they are exposed to on a daily basis through social media and bullying, the experience online and in person, and the growing global epidemic of drug addiction and drug overdose," she said.
    In a campaign speech days before the 2016 election, Trump said she intended to focus on protecting children on social media.
    PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 13:  United States First Lady Melania Trump speaks with children as she visits Necker Hospital for children on July 13, 2017 in Paris, France. The United States of America President Donald Trump and his wife are on a 2 days visit to Paris. (Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
    However, her husband, President Donald Trump, has come under fire for the example he sets himself through his social media platforms. Earlier this week, the President was widely criticized for retweeting an edited video that showed him swinging a golf club and appearing to hit his former presidential campaign rival Hillary Clinton with a golf ball.
    Melania Trump urged those in attendance Wednesday to promote the golden rule, which she called her "focus as first lady."
    "We must remember that they (children) are watching and listening, so we must never miss an opportunity to teach life's many ethical lessons along the way. As adults, we are not merely responsible, we are accountable. I hope you will join me in committing ourselves to teaching the next generation to lead by and honor the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them unto you, which is paramount in today's society and my focus as first lady," she said.
    Dubbed "the star of the Trump family" by her husband, Melania Trump has not yet formally revealed her platform as first lady, but aides say it's coming "soon."
    In addition to cyberbullying, 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.
    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.

    Spent today with the wonderful families helping each other after #HurricaneHarvey #Texas

    A post shared by First Lady Melania Trump (@flotus) on

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