New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited the White House on Tuesday to meet with United States President Joe Biden to discuss a range of topics including climate change and online radicalization.
The Prime Minister has not visited the United States since she was elected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and her visit marks the first time a New Zealand leader has visited the US since 2014, when Sir John Key met with former president Barack Obama.
The two met on Tuesday morning, days after Ardern delivered the commencement address at Harvard University, during which she touched on New Zealand’s response to gun violence and violent extremism. “We knew we needed significant gun reform, and so that is what we did,” she said. “But we also knew that if we wanted genuine solutions to the issue of violent extremism online, it would take government, civil society and the tech companies themselves to change the landscape.”
During her White House meeting with Biden this week, Ardern and the US president spent much of the time discussing US relations within the Pacific Islands, amid growing concerns over China’s perceived moves to expand its influence in the region.
Both leaders agreed the United States has “more work to do” in the Pacific Islands when it comes to the COVID-19 response and climate change in the region.
In the wake of the elementary school shooting last week in Uvalde, Texas, the two leaders also talked about gun control measures as well as the importance of acting on things like online radicalization of young people in the fight against violence. According to sources inside the White House, the two also spent some time talking over the response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BAYNEWS9.COM