The 76th UN General Assembly is ready to open on Tuesday (21/9). However, several preliminary meetings have been held this Monday (20/9), including “The Informal Leaders Roundtable on Climate Action,” an informal meeting of leaders and community leaders on climate change, which was attended by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson; and a session that reviewed progress on achieving the “Sustainable Development Goals” of the SDGs attended by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the music group superstar BTS.
“We must not forget, especially about the fact that this future belongs to the younger generation. Joining us today is an extraordinary group of young people who are connecting with youth around the world, BTS, in the capacity of the president’s special envoy for culture and future generations. With BTS, the first special envoy to come from the private sector, I hope today’s meeting will be an opportunity to mobilize the goodwill and steps of future generations towards achieving sustainable development.”
Such is the excerpt of President Moon Jae-in’s statement when introducing BTS at the UN General Assembly. In his speech, a BTS member known as RM, said the issue of climate change was a “tough discussion” but they were optimistic about the future.
“It is an honor to be here today. We are BTS, appointed as Special Envoys for the President of South Korea. Climate change is a tough discussion, but while preparing to be here, I learned that there are so many young people who have an interest in environmental issues and choose it as a field of study. The future is unexplored territory and it is there that we will spend more time than anyone. So these young people are looking for answers about how to live their lives in the future.”
Another BTS member, Kim Tae-Hyung, added, “I hope we don’t just assume that the future is dark. We have people who care deeply about the world and are looking for the answers. There’s still a lot left on this journey that concerns us, and I don’t think we should talk as if the end of this journey had already been written.”
BTS’s speech was greeted with applause from the audience at the UN assembly.
After the speech, the K-pop group released a special video for their hit song “Permission to Dance,” which was shot in and around the UN headquarters, namely in the auditorium, in the lobby and in front of the iconic building in New York.
American President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and dozens of other countries’ leaders will attend the UN General Assembly on September 20-27. [em/ka]