July 28, 2017 / 7:34 PM / in 24 days

Ivanka Trump meets with United Nations secretary-general

Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser of U.S. President Donald Trump, departs United Nations headquarters after meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York, U.S., July 28, 2017.Mike Segar

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Ivanka Trump, U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter and informal adviser, met with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for lunch at U.N. headquarters in New York on Friday to discuss women's economic empowerment.

Her visit to the United Nations came as the president has been pushing to slash funding for the world body. Ivanka Trump is seen as an important influence on her father, and her husband, Jared Kushner, is a top adviser to him.

Ivanka Trump said Guterres asked her to lunch after they both attended the World Bank launch of a loan program during the G20 in Germany earlier this month. That program was aimed at providing more than $1 billion for women entrepreneurs in developing countries.

In a post on Facebook, she said Guterres' invitation was "to discuss women's economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and workforce development."

"I look forward to continuing this important dialogue about skills training in the modern economy and working together to economically empower women globally," she said.

A White House official said Ivanka Trump was coordinating her conversations with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Ivanka Trump, who ran an eponymous clothing and jewelry business before taking a job at the White House, has made women's issues one of her signature policy areas.

The United Nations had no immediate comment on Friday's lunch.

The United States is the biggest U.N. contributor, providing 22 percent of the $5.4 billion biennial core budget and 28.5 percent of its $7.3 billion peacekeeping budget. These assessed contributions are agreed by the 193-member General Assembly.

Ultimately the U.S. Congress will decide how much money is available for U.N. funding. Republicans, who control both houses, and Democrats have said they do not support drastic cuts proposed by the president, who has called the U.S. share of the U.N. budget unfair.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and Steve Holland in Washington

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