Today, BTS returned to the United Nations’ stage to deliver words of hope and comfort. During their shared speech, RM, BTS’s leader and ARMY’s chosen “president,” brought back memories of his first UN speech while looking to the future.
When RM encouraged people to “Speak Yourself” in 2018, he had just turned 24 years old, and the world was a much different place. No one could have predicted that when BTS attended the next in-person United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) it would be during a global pandemic.
This time, instead of speaking in English on behalf of all his members as he did in 2018, RM spoke in Korean, in segments between his members’ contributions to the speech. He began by greeting the world leaders in attendance and introducing BTS.
It is an honor to be here today. We’re BTS, appointed Special Presidential Envoys of the Republic of Korea. We’re here today to share the stories of our future generation.
He also introduced BTS’s collaborative Youth Today, Your Stories project with ARMY. Fans everywhere submitted personal stories to talk about their pandemic experiences.
Before we came here, we asked young people in their teens and twenties around the world about their past two years and the world they find themselves in today.
When J-Hope brought up climate change, RM touched on the active interest young people are showing in regards to the environment.
It’s a tough discussion. But I learned, while preparing for today, that there are many people who have an interest in environmental issues and choose it as a field of study. The future is unexplored territory, and that’s where we, more than anyone, will spend our time. So these young people were searching for the answers to the questions of how we must live their future.
Living through a major historical event hasn’t been easy for anyone. The pandemic has changed lives, disrupted plans, and left many people feeling lost, including BTS. Even so, RM believes the youth of today is strong enough to prevail.
There was a time when we felt the same way. They’ve lost their way at a time when they need the most diverse opportunities and must try new things. But I think it’s a stretch to say they’re lost just because the paths they tread can’t be seen by grownup eyes.
Rather than losing their way, the “welcome generation” is finding new ones.
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.
After J-Hope confirmed that yes, BTS is vaccinated, RM explained what getting vaccinated personally means for the group.
The vaccination was a sort of ticket to meeting our fans waiting for us and being able to stand here before you today. Just like we said in our message today, we too are doing the things we are able to do right now.
“We thought the world has stopped,” RM said. “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 new world we can all say to each other, ‘welcome.'”
For more from UNGA, find out why Jungkook is bringing happy tears to our eyes, and how world leaders became stans: