BTS Speak About Climate Change, Pandemic + More During Inspiring UN Address: Read Their Full Speech
Global pop group BTS has taken their "Special Presidential Envoy for Future Generations and Culture" appointment to the United Nations very seriously.
The septet — comprised of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — delivered a stirring speech while representing their generation at the 76th United Nations General Assembly Monday morning (Sept. 20).
Speaking during the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Moment, they reflected on how the last two years, defined by the ongoing pandemic and worsening climate change discussions, have impacted the global youth population.
Their remarks were accompanied by posters, which carried information and photos crowd-sourced after asking their social media followers to reflect on how life has changed for them in recent years.
Despite ongoing calamities, the group emphasized their generation's resilience, hope and dedication to building a better world.
They also took issue with being referred to as Covid's "lost generation."
“We think that instead of the ‘lost generation,’ a more appropriate name would be the ‘welcome generation.’ Because instead of fearing change, this generation says, ‘Welcome!’ and keeps forging ahead," they determined, per Jin.
The "Butter" superstars also revealed that each member was vaccinated and stressed the importance of vaccination efforts to restore a sense of normalcy to the world.
Watch video footage of their uplifting speech, below.
But that's not all BTS did during their visit: the next-level performers also screened a performance video for their single "Permission to Dance." Check that out below.
This marked BTS's third time appearing in front of the United Nations. They first appeared in front of the organization in 2018 and also spoke last year. Read through the full transcript of today's speech, below.
RM: Your Excellency, Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th United Nations General Assembly, Your Excellency Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Your Excellency President Moon Jae-In and distinguished leaders from around the world, it is an honor to be here today. We’re BTS, appointed as special presidential envoys of the Republic of Korea. We’re here today to share the stories of our future generation.
Before we came here we asked the young people in their teens and twenties around the world about their past two years and about the world they find themselves in today. Jin will share some of the answers we received.
Jin: Yes, should we take a look? You can feel the good vibes from just looking at these. There were times during the past two years when I too felt bewildered and troubled but still here we have people who cry out, “Let’s live on. Let’s make the best of this moment.”
Jimin: Because we can’t stand still when we are in the ideal time of our lives to take on new challenges. It wasn’t as if we could blame anyone and you must have felt the frustration.
Jungkook: Here I’m the same as I was yesterday, but the world changed. Like we were transported in a flash to a parallel world. I was saddened to hear that entrance and graduation ceremonies had to be canceled. These are moments in life you want to celebrate. And missing out on them must have been upsetting. We were heartbroken when our long-planned concert tours were cancelled, and for a while we yearned for the moments we wanted to make complete.
Suga: Yes, it was a time for us to mourn for the things that Covid took away from us. A time to discover how precious each and every moment we’d taken for granted were.
Jimin: Suga mentioned that precious things were taken for granted. And lots of people answered our question by sharing pictures of their precious moments. Many people showed how they share their moments with nature. I think during these two years they found dear the time they experienced and care for nature.
J-Hope: Yes, but maybe because we feel an encroaching sense of dread that our time on this earth is limited. We just talk about the things we mourn, and I shudder to think about mourning for the earth. Everyone agrees that climate change is an important problem, but talking about what the best solution might be… That’s not easy. It’s a topic that’s tough to make conclusions about.
RM: Yes, it is a tough discussion. But I learned while preparing for today that there are many young people who have an interest in environmental issues and choose it as their field of study. The future is unexplored territory. And that’s where we more than anyone will spend our time.
V: So these young people were searching for the answers to the question of how we must live that future. So I hope we don’t just consider the future as grim darkness. We have people who are concerned for the world and searching for the answers. There are still many pages left in this story about us, and I thought we shouldn’t talk like the ending’s already been written.
Jungkook: Of course, sometimes the world seems stuck in place even if you’re ready to go. Sometimes it feels like you’ve lost your way. There was a time when we felt the same way.
RM: I’ve heard that people in their teens and twenties today are being referred to as Covid’s lost generation. That they’ve lost their way at a time when they need the most diverse opportunities. They must try new things. But I think it’s a stretch to say they’re lost just because the paths they tread can by seen by grown-up eyes.
Jimin: Yes, take a look at these pictures. Here we have many who are trying hard to continue their friendships online in new ways. Start learning new things, live healthier lives. I’m sorry, excuse me. Yes, these kids are trying to learn new things and trying to figure new things out. They don’t look lost.
Jin: They look like they are finding new courage and taking on new challenges. I think that’s why instead of the lost generation a more appropriate name would be the welcome generation. Because instead of fearing change, this generation says welcome and keeps forging ahead.
RM: That’s right. If we believe in possibilities and hope, even when the unexpected happens we will not lose our way but discover new ones.
Suga: There will be choices we make that may not be perfect. But that does not mean there will be nothing we can do. That’s what I think.
J-Hope: What is important are the choices we make when we’re faced with change. Right? Some of you heard the news that we’re coming to the UN, and a lot of you were wondering whether we have been vaccinated.
RM: I’ll take this opportunity to say yes. All seven of us. Of course we received vaccinations. The vaccination was a sort of ticket to meeting our fans waiting for us. And to being able to stand here before you today. Just like we said in our message today, we too are doing the things that we’re able to do right now.
V: Like the vaccinations. Efforts are continuously underway to keep this new reality going forward. I think the day we can meet again face to face is not far away. Until then I hope we can fill each of our days to the brim with positive energy.
RM: We thought the world has stopped, but it continues to move forward. I believe that every choice we make is the beginning of change, not the end. I hope that in this nascent new world we can all say to each other, "Welcome." And now, as we look forward to this future, the permission to dance is our message of welcome that we want to share with everyone today.