French President Nicolas Sarkozy was due to meet UN chief Ban Ki-Moon in New York on Friday, after arriving with his wife Carla Bruni, who is set to perform in a weekend concert for Nelson Mandela.
Sarkozy headed out for a morning jog with his security detail before a scheduled meeting at the French consulate with the UN chief at 1700 GMT to review major international issues.
The two are likely to discuss North Korea: France on Friday welcomed tighter UN sanctions against Pyongyang and urged it to avoid new provocations after recent weapons tests.
But Sarkozy said the trip is private -- mainly due to his wife's taking part in a charity birthday concert for Mandela.
The former South African leader, who is turning 91, will not be on hand, but stars such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Queen Latifah and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy are among scheduled artists at the event at Radio City Music Hall.
It will be the first public performance by Bruni-Sarkozy, a former model turned singer, since she became France's first lady in February 2008.
She had said she would not sing again until her husband leaves office.
But Bruni, whose brother died of AIDS, is a goodwill ambassador for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS has made an exception for the charity show.