New Delhi: Korean boy band BTS on Monday attended the 76th UN General Assembly session in New York. BTS members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook are attending the UNGA as part of their duties as ‘Special Presidential Envoy for Future Generations and Culture’.
BTS, whose full name is Bangtan Sonyeondan or Beyond The Scene (their English branding), performed on their song ‘Permission To Dance’ at the UNGA as they joined world leaders to put a spotlight on the 17 UN goals for 2030 ranging from ending poverty and protecting the planet to achieving gender equality, providing every child a quality education and ensuring healthy lives for all people.
The K-pop sensation have been running their ‘Love Myself’ campaign since 2017 to inspire teenagers and youngsters to rise up against violence and learn to embrace themselves and their identities better. This year, the group shared the stories of youths from across the world, which they had been collecting for the past few days through social media, at the United Nations General Assembly.
Sharing his experience of the tough times amid the COVID-19, BTS vocalist and eldest member Jin said, “There were times during the past two years when I too felt bewildered and troubled, but still, we had people who cried out ‘let’s live on, let’s make the best of this moment’.”
“We are in the ideal time of our lives to take on new challenges. It wasn’t as if you could blame anyone. You must have felt the frustration… the world changed like if we were transported in a flash to a parallel one,” said Jimin.
Reflecting on the realisations post the pandemic, Suga said, “It was a time for us to mourn, for the things that COVID-19 took away from us, a time to discover how precious each and every moment we had taken for granted was.”
Further, J-Hope went on to talk about the issues of Climate Change. “Everyone agrees that Climate Change is an important problem but talking about the best solution might be, that’s not easy. It’s a topic that is tough to make conclusions about,” the rapper said.
BTS have often voiced concerns and views over several social issues across the world. The group, which has been associated with several causes, recently spoke out against racial discrimination. “If we believe there’s hope, we will find the way. We stand against racial discrimination and hate speech,” BTS said.
The event, held amid the coronavirus pandemic, will witness leaders from more than 100 nations take part in the United Nations’ annual high-level gathering in New York. It is being reported that this year’s event will be a departure from the last in-person meeting of the General Assembly in 2019, and far different, too, from last year’s all-virtual version.
The globally famous septet was awarded the certificates as special envoys by South Korean President Moon Jae-in last Tuesday. Moon and the music group on Monday took part in the second meeting of the Sustainable Development Goals Moment (SDG Moment) of the Decade of Action.
“As BTS has delivered messages of comfort and hope to the world over the years, BTS’ participation in the UN General Assembly will serve as a meaningful opportunity to expand communication with future generations around the world and elicit sympathy for future generations on major international issues,” read a tweet posted on the verified Twitter account of the Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae in Korean) earlier.
According to the UN, the SDG Moment will seek to reinforce the continued relevance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and build momentum in advance of major summits and intergovernmental meetings, highlight urgent actions needed to ensure COVID-19 response and recovery efforts are equitable, inclusive and accelerate the transition to sustainable development, and demonstrate that transformative change at scale is possible between now and 2030.
The band’s participation at this year’s UN General Assembly was their third, following an in-person appearance in 2018 and their second, a pre-recorded video message in 2020 owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic. It was announced In July that Moon has appointed BTS as his special envoy.
On Monday, British band Coldplay announced their new single “My Universe” featuring BTS. The track will be released on September 24.
The K-pop sensation will be holding an online concert, titled “Permission To Dance on Stage”, on October 24, the group shared the news on fan community platform Weverse. The “Permission To Dance on Stage” concert is their first since “BTS Map of the Soul ON:E”, which was held in October 2020.
BTS recently won two MTV Video Music Awards in best group and best K-pop categories. They were also nominated for the Grammys this year.
(With PTI inputs)