Global sensation BTS delivered an inspiring and hopeful speech at the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 20.
South Korean President Moon Jae-In formally appointed the Korean pop boy group as Special Presidential Envoy for Future Generations and Culture to help develop “global agenda for future generations, including sustainable growth.” (Read: How BTS Inspired This Author to Write Best-Selling Fanfics)
All seven members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook took turns speaking at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Moment, where leaders all over the world gather to discuss how to achieve the 17 SDGs.
Youth stories, youth today
Before the UNGA, BTS encouraged their fans, ARMYS, to share their own experiences and illustrate what their world was like today through images, emojis, or words.
“There were times during the past two years when I too felt bewildered and troubled but still we hear people cry out, ‘let’s live on, let’s make the best of this moment,” Jin said as he recounted the responses from the ARMYS.
Some of the photos and slogans were presented during the speech, describing it as “world today.”
“I was saddened to hear that entrance and graduation ceremonies had to be cancelled. These are the moments in life you want to celebrate and missing out on them must have been upsetting,” Jungkook expressed.
BTS shared their frustrations as well upon getting their long-planned concert tours cancelled and how they “yearn for the moments they wanted to complete.”
The global sensation showed that the youth shared their moments with nature and how they found their time to experience and care for it. (Read: How Typhoon Yolanda Inspired This Millennial to Fight for Climate Justice)
“Maybe because we feel an encroaching sense of dread that our time on this Earth is limited. We just talk about the things we mourn and I shudder to think about mourning for the Earth,” J-Hope stated.
BTS addressed climate change as an “important problem” and “tough discussion.” However, they learned that many young people are getting involved in environmental issues and choose it as a field of study, “searching for the answers to the question of how we must live that future.”
Since many people, especially the youth, feel hopeless in facing the challenges and drastic changes brought by the pandemic, BTS gave a message of optimism and strength for future generations.
“I hope we don’t just consider the future as grim darkness. There are still many pages left in the story about us, and I thought we shouldn’t talk like the ending has already been written,” V reiterated.
Group leader, RM said that he noticed people in their teens and 20’s today are being referred to as “COVID’s lost generation” who lost their way at a time when they need the most diverse opportunities and must try new things.
“But I think it’s a stretch to say they’re lost just because the paths they tread can’t be seen by grown-up eyes,” he added.
BTS continued to show how the youth are trying hard to continue their friendships online in new ways, start learning new things, and live healthier. (Read: Check Out The McDo Crews Taking On The #IPurpleYou Dance Challenge!)
“Instead of the lost generation, a more appropriate name would be the welcome generation because instead of fearing change, this generation says ‘welcome’ and keeps forging ahead,” Jin underscored.
BTS encouraged the youth to believe in possibilities and hope, and not to lose their way, but discover new ones.
“There will be choices we make that may not be perfect but that does not mean there won’t be anything we can do,” Suga said. (Read: Common COVID-19 Vaccine Fake News And Myths–Debunked!)
They emphasized the importance of the choices people can make when facing change. One of those choices is getting vaccinated against the COVID-19. BTS revealed the seven of them are already vaccinated as they do the things they are able to do right now.
“The vaccination efforts are continuously underway to keep this new reality going forward and I think the day we can meet again face to face isn’t far away. Until then, I hope we can feel each of our days to the brim with positive energy,” V expressed.
Permission to dance performance
"We thought the world has stopped, but it continues to move forward. Every choice we make is the beginning of change."— United Nations (@UN) September 20, 2021
— @BTS_twt came to UNHQ to support action for the #GlobalGoals & a better world for everyone.
Watch their special musical performance and get inspired. pic.twitter.com/ZQG4pDA61V
Right after their speech, BTS preceded a taped performance of their latest track, “Permission to Dance” at the UN Headquarters to spread the message of hope to people, especially the youth.
BTS previously attended the UNGA twice for their anti-violence campaign with UNICEF. In 2018, RM gave a moving speech at the 73rd UNGA. (Read: BTS’ New Single Racks up Billions, Boosts Economy Within 3 Weeks)
Meanwhile, at the 75th UNGA, they virtually attended the event and shared their message through a video.