Why Millions Watched BTS Speak and Perform at the United Nations General Assembly
All eyes were on the United Nations General Assembly Hall this week when K-pop superstars, BTS, took to the stage for a sustainability event where they spoke about the need to promote vaccines, the importance of the younger generation and how we can make a difference on issues such as climate change.
The septet spoke passionately about the experiences of the younger generation and how many of their ideas about the future were being shaped by the pandemic.
They argued that many young people know a lot about climate change as a result of their learning being moved online and that they can make a difference if only given the chance to do so.
They added that they hoped that this generation would be known for its ability to create a positive and healthy world through the use of the internet and various tools rather than as victims who lost out on many opportunities due to the pandemic.
“I’ve heard that people in their teens and 20s today are being referred to as Covid’s lost generation,” RM said. “I think it’s a stretch to say they’re lost, just because the path they tread can’t be seen by grown-up eyes.”
The group also enthusiastically talked about the benefits of vaccines to encourage more people to get their shots.
“Yes, all seven of us, of course, we’ve received vaccinations. The vaccine was a sort of ticket to meeting our fans waiting for us and to being able to stand here before you today,” J-Hope said.
After their speech, the boy band played a video of themselves performing their latest hit song, Permission to Dance. The video featured Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook dancing through the General Assembly Hall and the United Nations while singing.
BTS’ representation at the United Nations comes shortly after the group was appointed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in as the Special Presidential Envoy For Future Generations And Culture.
The South Korean Presidential Office said in July that the appointment was made to “raise awareness on global agendas, such as sustainable development, to our future generations and to strengthen the nation’s diplomatic power across the world”.
President Moon even added that the group is an “exceptionally outstanding group of young men who are connecting with the youth across the world.”
True enough, BTS’ appearance at the United Nations, which was live-streamed on Youtube, racked up about a million views. By the next day, over six million people had watched the video.
While the group has visited the United Nations in the past, this is their first appearance in their new formal diplomatic role.
If you have yet to witness their speech, watch the video below.