By Belinda Goldsmith
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 24 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As world leaders descended on New York on Monday for an annual gathering, South Korea's top boy band, BTS, took advantage of the spotlight to urge young people to join global efforts against discrimination and poverty.
The seven-member band, who this year became the first K-pop group to top the Billboard 200 album chart, made an impassioned plea at the United Nations for young people to find their voices to help shape the future.
The 193 U.N. member states agreed three years ago to an ambitious set of 17 global goals designed to conquer poverty, inequality and other international woes by a 2030 deadline.
Campaigners have stressed the need for the younger generation to get involved, with the U.N. children's fund UNICEF estimating the global population of adolescents and young people will reach two billion by 2030.
BTS leader Kim Namjoon, aka RM, spoke for the group to help launch a UNICEF campaign called "Generation Unlimited", outlining the issues that they, their fans and young people around the world face today and the need to step up.
"I want to hear your voice, I want to hear your conviction. No matter where you're from, skin
"I want to hear your voice... No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself.”— UNICEF (@UNICEF) September 24, 2018
We 💜 @BTS_twt's inspiring message to young people around the world at the UN General Assembly. #GenUnlimited #UNGA #ENDviolence #Youth2030 pic.twitter.com/kWOoSfLkiq
YouTube star Lilly Singh, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, also appeared at the #Youth2030 event alongside BTS, watched by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, who is Korean American.
"Young people make up 25 percent of the population but 100 percent of the future," Singh told the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly.
"All our hopes for a better world rest on young people," Guterres said in a statement.
"Sustainable development, human rights, peace
(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith @BeeGoldsmith, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change
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