It is shaping up to be a point of pride for the South Korean entertainment industry that their K-Wave of culture, particularly their pop music acts, has the potential to get along rather swimmingly with the mother of all international organizations, the United Nations itself. It is not easily forgotten that in 2012 the UN, led by then-Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, praised the song “Gangnam Style” by Psy as a “force for world peace”. Now a new K-Pop act will get the uncommon honor of being able to speak before the UN: present-day boy band phenomenon BTS.
Billboard has it that BTS, a seven-man K-Pop boy band under Big Hit Entertainment, will have an additional stop on their itinerary for their big trip to New York City. This coming Monday, September 24, BTS will be making a speech in front of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. Their presentation will be part of the launch ceremonies for “Generation Unlimited”, a global partnership involving the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The speech that the magnificent seven of K-Pop will deliver before the assembly, according to a UN insider, is said to be 3 minutes long.
UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited partnership is “dedicated to increasing opportunities and investments for children and young people aged 10 to 24. The name of the program is a shout-out of course to the generation nicknames used for youths of specific decades at the end of the 20th Century such as Generation X. The partnership will thus strive to expand the support network for the age 10 to twenty-something generation their “transition from adolescence to adulthood”, something that can be reflected in BTS themselves, seeing as they started out back in 2013 and thus, have been active for about half a decade.
But even before their big day to speak to the UN in New York, BTS already had established cred in working with the organization and its UNICEF agency back in their home country. Last year they co-launched “Love Myself” with UNICEF’s Korean Committee, part of their global initiative to end violence targeted against the youth.
The UN appearance by BTS is only the latest of the various coups struck by the K-Pop boy band in the international scene. Back in May, their “Love Yourself: Tear” album became the first by a K-Pop boy band to reach number one on the US Billboard 200. And in August, they beat out Taylor Swift in YouTube for the biggest video debut, with over 45 views in 24 hours for their new hits “Idol”.
Image courtesy of AllKPop