A day after Donald Trump asked Jacinda Ardern about gun law reform, he has seemingly quashed the notion of similar reform in the US at his annual speech in the UN General Debate.

The US President brought up gun control and New Zealand's gun buy-back programme when he had his first formal meeting with Prime Minister Ardern in New York yesterday, an interaction that Ardern characterised as taking an interest and not a sign of any wish to change US gun laws.

This morning Trump told the UN General Assembly that he would not budge on the right of Americans to self-defence, including the right to keep and bear arms.

He also said that global social media giants could control what people read and watch.

Advertisement

"We will uphold the right of free speech. A free society cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people."

Video will play in
Play now
Don't auto play

Never auto play
Focus: PM Jacinda Ardern spoke to media a short time after her meeting with U.S president Donald Trump. Video / derek.cheng

The US has used the right to free speech as a reason not to sign up to the Christchurch Call to Action, which has grown to now include 48 countries and 10 online platforms and organisations.

Ardern announced progress on the call yesterday, including efforts by social media giants to combat extremism and a new crisis-response framework to curb the spread of terrorist or violent extremist content online.

The Trump-Ardern meeting yesterday included US Vice President Mike Pence, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Photo / Supplied
The Trump-Ardern meeting yesterday included US Vice President Mike Pence, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Photo / Supplied

This morning Ardern attended the opening of the general debate, mingling with leaders including Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar before taking a seat to hear, among others, Trump's speech.

She will give New Zealand's national address later today, having secured a spot on the first day of the general debate.

The last time a New Zealand Prime Minister was given a first-day slot was when Jim Bolger gave the address in 1991. Last year Ardern gave the national address on the debate's third day.

As part of the announcement, PM Jacinda Ardern and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg shared the plan for a reformed Global Internet Forum To Counter Terrorism. Video / Derek Cheng

Her address today is understood to focus on the lessons from the March 15 terrorist attack, and to emphasise the need for urgent action on climate change.

She may also touch on collaboration, which will align with her expected trade announcement tomorrow for a multi-country agreement to cut tariffs on climate change-related technology and lower global fossil fuel subsidies.

Advertisement

There is no indication yet whether she will repeat her line last year "MeToo must become WeToo", which has been used to criticise her in the wake of Labour's mishandling of a sexual assault complaint.

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in New York this morning. Photo / PMO
Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in New York this morning. Photo / PMO

She is currently meeting European Council president Donald Tusk, who said to her as media were ushered outside: "No questions about Brexit."

Earlier she discussed climate change and the Rugby World Cup in a bilateral meeting with Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, and Fiji's involvement in the trade agreement that Ardern will announce tomorrow.

Cricket was the sporting subject preferred in her next meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister and former cricket international Imran Khan, who had particular praise for the New Zealand cricket team's performance at the recent World Cup final and the leadership of Kane Williamson.

They also discussed the tensions in Kashmir and Jammu, and New Zealand's response to the March 15 terror attacks, where nine Pakistani nationals were killed.

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan talked to Jacinda Ardern about the March 15 terrorist attack. Photo / PMO
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan talked to Jacinda Ardern about the March 15 terrorist attack. Photo / PMO

Khan is understood to have taken a particular interest in New Zealand's efforts to push back on extremism.

Ardern then met the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrin Jakobsdottir, who has been compared to Ardern as a young, progressive, female leader who has been called an anti-Trump.

Later today Ardern is having bilateral meetings with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and then speaking at a celebration of the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.