The Korean boy band BTS attended the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly as special presidential envoy for future generations and culture held in New York City, speaking especially to the youth generation that they are “not the lost generation” but “are the welcome generation.” All of the seven members delivered a speech in Korean. This was BTS’ third appearance at the U.N. General Assembly, following one in 2018 and the other in 2020.
Introduced by President Moon Jae-in at the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals Moment which took place at the U.N. headquarters on Monday (local time), BTS showed a video of young people around the world, meeting their friends and studying on the digital platform during the global pandemic.
“Sometimes it feels like the world is stuck in place. It feels like you’ve lost your way. There was a time when we felt the same way,” Jungkook, one of the band’s members, said, cheering young people. RM, the group’s leader, said, “I’ve heard that people in their teens and 20s today are being referred to as Covid’s lost generation,” and retorted, “But 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.” Jin, another member of the band, said, “rather than calling this Covid generation a ‘lost generation,’ the term ‘welcome generation’ is more suitable. We are a generation that walks forward rather than being feared by changes.” “We thought the world stopped, but it continues to move forward,” said RM, emphasizing that they should say to each other ‘welcome!’ at the beginning of a new world, which is not the end of the world.
Commenting on environmental issues, the band’s members said, “I hope we don’t just consider the future as grim darkness. We have people concerned for the world and searching for answers.” BTS took to the stage wearing upcycled and regenerated clothing. Following the speech, a video of the band’s performance of their song “Permission to Dance” was played in the empty Assembly Hall.