Former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern Discusses Christchurch Call with US Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff
Former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern, currently serving as the Government’s Special Envoy for the Christchurch Call, made a noteworthy public appearance on Friday. The discussion revolved around countering hate and fostering tolerance, with a focus on building a culture of respect and cooperation.
During her rare public appearance, Dame Jacinda met with Douglas Emhoff, the husband of US Vice-President Kamala Harris and the Second Gentleman of the United States. Emhoff, on a five-day visit to New Zealand, expressed admiration for both his wife and the former Prime Minister, acknowledging them as incredible role models.
Dame Jacinda Ardern’s involvement with the Christchurch Call initiative began after the tragic terrorist shooting in 2019 that claimed 51 lives. Stepping down from her role as Prime Minister in January, she now holds diplomatic titles, including that of Special Envoy for the Christchurch Call.
The talks between Dame Jacinda and Douglas Emhoff took place at the Auckland Policy Office, located near the site of the deadly shooting at Commercial Bay on Thursday. The discussions encompassed the Christchurch Call’s importance as a global effort to combat online extremism, resonating with Emhoff, who is the first Jewish spouse of a vice-president and an advocate against anti-Semitism.
Addressing the rising global violence and hatred, Emhoff emphasized the need to build coalitions, bringing all segments of society together to combat hate. The Second Gentleman expressed that the Christchurch Call serves as an excellent role model in this endeavor.
As part of the high-level talks, the shooting that occurred on Thursday was discussed, although police reported that the shooter was not politically motivated. Emhoff stressed the interconnected nature of hate, affecting everyone, and emphasized the importance of creating safe communities where all individuals can live and worship without fear of violence.
The Christchurch Call remains a significant initiative that strives to foster a safer and more tolerant online environment, reflecting the joint commitment of international leaders like Dame Jacinda Ardern and Douglas Emhoff in promoting peace and combating hate.