A stomach bug has felled Julia Gillard, forcing her to cancel two significant events on the first full day of her visit to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
The Prime Minister emerged briefly in the middle of the day for an event with Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, to promote equality of opportunity for women.
"Oh, OK," was how a slightly wan Ms Gillard told the National Times she was feeling as she entered the hotel where the event was being staged.
Ms Gillard was to have kicked off her New York visit with a speech on Australia's economy to a joint lunch hosted by the influential Economic Club of New York and the Asia Society.
At the last minute, Ms Gillard, too ill to appear, summoned the Minister for Foreign Affairs to give the speech for her.
"This is New York and the show must go on," the master of ceremonies explained to the packed house awaiting Ms Gillard. "They came up with a very fine understudy."
Senator Carr, who had his own schedule of meetings at the UN headquarters to spruik Australia's bid for the UN Security Council, dropped everything and rushed to the Pierre Hotel on Fifth Avenue.
He had not had time to read the speech thoroughly beforehand. Its message was to tell international investors Australia's economy was about much more than mining and to keep the fall in commodity prices in perspective.
At times, he strayed from the prepared speech and once bamboozled his audience by saying: "That's what the galahs in the pet shops are saying."
Afterwards, Senator Carr fielded questions from a panel on issues ranging from the Pacific solution to the presence of US Marines on Australian soil.
Ms Gillard also had to cancel her first appearance in the chamber of the United Nations General Assembly. She was scheduled to attend and speak at a high-level meeting on the rule of law.
She is due to address the General Assembly later this week in a major speech that will push Australia's Security Council bid.
Later today, Ms Gillard is scheduled to attend a reception of 140 world leaders being hosted by US President Barack Obama. It is yet to be confirmed whether she will be present.
The Prime Minister has her own personal doctor when she travels.
She told the Equal Futures conference that women across the globe must have the same opportunities as their fathers and brothers.
"It's great to have women as secretaries of state and prime ministers. But let's have more women engineers and truck drivers as well," she said.