BTS: UN Speech 2021

BTS’s appearance at the UNHQ in New York. (From left) Kim Taehyung, Min Yoongi, Kim Seokjin, Kim Namjoon, Jeon Jungkook, Park Jimin, and Jung Hoseok. Copyright goes to HYBE Entertainment, BTS, and CBS News.

Hi! It’s Annie!

This morning BTS delivered a speech at the UN Assembly and I think we’re all so proud of them. Not only was the speech amazing, which I’ll get into later, but their time slot and what they had to say was treated with so much importance. I think we can all see the beginnings of their future diplomacy works here, because this feels much more like a beginning than a one time thing. I’m going to go through their speech and the other amazing things that they have done today. Their influence and the way that they try and get all of our voices out there is amazing to me! Seriously everyone should see the speech that they made today. It was nothing short of historic.

The Speech:

To everyone’s surprise, BTS all gave the speech together. They portioned off the speech between the seven of them and it was delivered beautifully. I also want to point out that they were all allowed to give the speech in Korean. Unlike their past UN in-person experience where Namjoon gave his speech entirely in English. Not only that, but the UN featured BTS by also having them be some of the first speakers for the event. BTS talked mostly about the youth of today. Specifically, people in their teens and twenties and how they have continued to survive despite the pandemic. They talked about how this generation has sometimes been referred to as the lost generation because of the supposed lost years. But BTS argued that we should be referred to as the welcome generation. A generation who welcomed change and made do with that we had. They mentioned the new challenges that face this generation, such as climate change and how this generation seeks to combat the newest challenges with knowledge that we might acquire. Over-all their speech was a message of hope that also simultaneously advocated for youth. BTS has always been a huge advocate for youth and talked several times about how much youth is often underestimated. It was amazing that they could share this message that they have long championed with the rest of the world on such a historic scale. And to see all of them deliver the speech together in their native language made the point even more poignant. It’s a message of hope for the youth and for all other generations. Everyone should hear it. Also, the boys are vaccinated!!! Yay!!!

The Interview:

BTS was interviewed along with President Moon of South Korea. Beyond even that, they were interviewed by UN’s Under-Secretary General for Global Communications. In the interview she asked very specific questions to Namjoon, Jimin, and Hobi specifically. (The edited prompt called Jimin Jin but at least the interviewer got it right.) I’m not sure if there was a specific reason why those three were chosen or if they just didn’t have time for anyone else. Either way, the three of them spoke eloquently. Namjoon was asked about what made the issues discussed at the UN important to him, and he talked about how future generations must pay attention to what’s happening. Especially because we are a big part of the future that is to come. Jimin was asked about how he viewed this attendance to the UN and Jimin talked about the importance of the occasion as well as how nervous he was. Hobi talked about how he wanted this generation to know that we are not lost and said he hoped we can walk together for a better tomorrow. President Moon was then asked about why he appointed BTS as his envoy to which he replied that BTS are the biggest and best artists of our time. Absolutely agreed. He then talked about how they have a powerful voice for the youth. To see BTS being honored in this way was indescribable. I would want no one else representing my generation in this way.

The Performance:

BTS showed a pre-recorded version of ‘Permission to Dance’ that was taken very early the day before in the UNHQ and in the park outside. It’s not only an amazing performance but there was happiness and hope radiating off of this already hopeful song on this occasion. They seemed so happy to be there with so many other people joining in. And watching Taehyung dance with the crowd was adorable. This has to be one of my favorite performances of this song. And I’m sure that it’s quite possibly the most important. More than anything else, seeing all the boys having so much fun just hit me with serotonin.

The MET Museum:

While we haven’t seen much video footage from their attendance to this, we do know some about their time there. We know that Namjoon made a speech in front of a group of people. Which makes sense for Namjoon. They were pictured alongside many pieces from the museum and over-all it seemed like a small but glamorous affair. They looked just as official and happy here, but possibly a little less stressed. Understandably.

BTS Themselves:

In talking about this, we have to talk about the boys themselves. Because there are definitely behind the scenes stuff that are important to talk about that was not necessarily captured in any official footage. And not just the pictures they posted to Twitter. (Handsome!) Firstly, let’s talk about their privacy. Because I know they were all stressed going into this address at the UN and I also know that toxic fans did not help those matters at all. BTS was ambushed at the airport and repeatedly followed to their hotel from the moment they landed to their return to their hotel today. If you are one of those people who stalked them in New York or even considered that to be a reasonable thing, please reconsider and reflect on your actions. All the members have talked about how uncomfortable it makes them and those actions show an incredible selfishness. It says that you care more about your wants than their safety. If that really is the case with you, then you aren’t a fan. That aside, I want to talk about how well they did despite nerves and toxic fans making the situation worse. We all saw pictures of Jimin afterwards clutching his heart and he said several times that he was nervous. I hope they all know that they were amazing. I think we all felt as though they were making our voices heard up there. Them being nervous is a reminder to all of us that they are regular human beings who have taken on this incredible responsibility. And as a fan, I couldn’t be more proud of them for taking this on and being so open, hopeful, and welcoming about it all. They are the living examples of the idea that this generation is the welcome generation rather than a lost one.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t tear up just a little bit while watching their UN speech. I’m so happy for them! And I can’t wait to see what else they do in the future. Because, even before this, I think we all knew that they would do something amazing. And this will not be the last amazing thing that they do. They give me so much hope, and they give so many of us so much hope, and I am so glad to have this group in my life. They are simultaneously regular and historic and amazing. Which is a combination that is needed right now in the world.

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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