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BTS Calls For A Brighter Future At The UN General Assembly’s SDG Moment

The South Korean presidential special envoys concluded their monumental speech with a performance of their third all-English single, ‘Permission To Dance’

Divyansha Dongre Sep 20, 2021

Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Staying true to their role as the voice of the youth, pop titans BTS returned to the UN General Assembly today–this time as newly appointed diplomats to the South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The group first spoke at the United Nations in 2018 to discuss their commitment to ending violence against children.

Having an optimistic outlook on the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year BTS based their address on viewing the ‘lost generation’ of youth affected by COVID-19 as the ‘welcome generation.’ Each member of the group took turns to speak and contribute to the conversation, declaring their solidarity with others their age who have felt sad or frustrated in the last two years over lost opportunities or delayed dreams. However, highlighted the incredible ability young people have of embracing change as opposed to fearing it, and ended their speech on a hopeful note with the group for optimism, stating,”I hope we don’t just consider the future as grim darkness. We still have many pages in our story, and we shouldn’t talk as if the ending is already written.” 

Sharing stories submitted to them on social media under UN’s ‘Youth Today, Youth Stories’ initiative, BTS focused on young people’s commitment to upskilling and finding the courage to take on new challenges. The septet also touched upon other pressing global concerns such as climate change and pledged their solidarity with the COVID-19 vaccination movement, declaring the whole group is fully vaccinated. 

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Concluding their first assignment as South Korea’s presidential special envoys for future generations and culture, BTS performed their July 2021 hit “Permission To Dance.” Shot within the United Nations headquarters in New York, the track’s iconic choreography–which includes the international sign gestures for joy, peace and dance– made it a fitting choice for the occasion.

As part of their special duties, BTS will be responsible for advocating for the youth of the world while raising awareness on pressing international issues. 

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