RM listens as Jungkook of the South Korean boy band BTS speaks at the SDG Moment event as part of the UN General Assembly 76th Session at the United Nations Headquarters on Monday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly began on a distinctly musical note Monday with an appearance by K-pop supergroup BTS, who had words of encouragement for young people facing COVID-19.
The new session kicked off with the "SDG Moment," an event held to highlight how a "deeply uneven response to the pandemic" is creating a two-tier recovery impacting the U.N.'s 2030 sustainable development goals, or SDG.
The theme of this week's General Assembly is to "underscore the need for greater urgency and ambition to end the pandemic and ensure an equitable and green recovery," as well as to accelerate the implementation of the SDG.
As part of the SDG Moment, South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivered opening remarks and was followed to the podium by the Grammy Award-winning pop group, who made speeches and showed a pre-recorded performance of their song "Permission to Dance," which was filmed earlier in the empty seating area of the General Assembly.
"I've heard that people in their teens and 20s 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 and must try new things," group leader RM said, according to the Yonhap News Agency. "But I think it's a stretch to say they're lost just because the paths they tread can't be seen by grown-up eyes."
Fellow BTS member Jimin said that pictures shared with the band by young people around the world showing them living healthy and active lives countered the idea that their futures had been ruined by COVID-19.
"They don't look lost," he said. "They look like they are finding new courage and taking on new challenges."
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City on Saturday. Pool photo by Eduardo Munoz/UPI | License Photo