BTS Becomes First Boyband to Address the United Nations

By Tiffany Simms

Along with many of their previous historical achievements, BTS has now officially become the first K-Pop group the first boyband to address the United Nations. The United Nations gathered in New York City on Monday, September 24 to focus on youth-related issues with the launch of Youth 2030.

BTS took a short break from their Love Yourself World Tour to attend the UN gathering after having been invited because of their partnership with UNICEF on their "Love Myself" campaign. The K-Pop group will now focus on the launching of Generation Unlimited, a new global effort to ensure every young person is in education, training or employment by 2030. 

BTS and their parent company, Big Hit Entertainment, joined forces with the Korean Committee for UNICEF, which is affiliated with the United Nations, on November 1, 2017, to sponsor the #ENDviolence campaign with the global mission to ensure the safety of the youth of the world. In addition to their "Love Myself" campaign that encourages self-love, the K-Pop group recently finished their "Love Yourself" album series dedicated to this specific message.

Big Hit Entertainment has pledged 500 million KRW (around $447,400) to the campaign and stated that 3% of the sales for their "Love Yourself" physical albums and all income from the sales of their Love Myself official goods are to be donated to the #ENDviolence campaign.

Kim Namjoon, also known as RM and the leader of BTS, delivered a speech on behalf of the entire group, Jin, J-Hope, Suga, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, who joined him at the mic. Namjoon spoke eloquently to heads of state and distinguished guests at the United Nations about his personal life, specifically his struggle with self-acceptance. He stated, “I tried to jam myself into the other molds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and listen to the voice of others. No one called out my name and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. Like this, I—we—all lost our names. We became like ghosts. But I had one sanctuary, and that was music.”

He added that the relationship and community he has with his members and the support from the BTS fans, better known as the ARMY, are what has helped him with his achievements. He continued his speech by stating, “Even after the decision of joining BTS, there were a lot of hurdles . . . Most people thought we were hopeless, and sometimes I just wanted to quit. Anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible that I had my other BTS members right by my side, and because of the love and support that our ARMY fans all over the world made for us.”

To continue from the “Love Myself” campaign, he now encourages individuals to “Speak Yourself” as it is necessary to both love yourself and take proud ownership of everything that defines you—your passions, your story. “I’d like to ask all of you: What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin color, your gender identity—just speak yourself. Find your name and find your voice by speaking yourself.”

Namjoon leads by example by saying,  “Yesterday’s me is still me. Today, I am who I am with all of my faults and my mistakes.” and “I have come to love myself for who I am, for who I was, and for who I hope to become.”

Watch the full speech below:

For more information on the LOVE MYSELF campaign, click here and the United Nations and Youth 2030 initiative, click here.

Cr: https://www.love-myself.org/eng/about-lovemyself/,  http://www.genunlimited.org/,http://www.vulture.com/2018/09/watch-bts-address-the-united-nations.html

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