Watch BTS Speak and Perform ‘Permission to Dance’ at the United Nations

By Jem Aswad

Popular on Variety

BTS spoke and gave a special performance at the United Nations in New York on Monday, addressing the assembly and then cutting to a video they filmed, in respectful suits, at the iconic building’s auditorium, lobby and front. The group were recently named the U.N.’s Special Presidential Envoys for Future Generations and Culture; it marked the third time the band gave a speech at the U.N., following two occasions in 2018 and 2020.

After being introduced by Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, the group’s members shared a number of comments on the pandemic they had received from fans. BTS asked fans across the globe through their social channels “What were the past 2 years like for you, and what’s your world like today?”

Courtesy BigHit Music

Introduced by President of Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, the septet came up on stage to present the stories of youth trying to live healthier lives or their thoughts on climate change.

“It is an honor to be here today,” the group’s RM said through a translator. “We are BTS, appointed as special presidential envoys of the Republic of Korea. We are here today to share the stories of our future generations. Before we came here we asked young people in their teens and twenties around the world about the past two years and the world they find themselves in today.”

“We think that instead of the ‘lost generation,’ a more appropriate name would be the ‘welcome generation.’ Because instead of fearing change, this generation says, ‘Welcome!’ and keeps forging ahead.” The group also mentioned the importance of getting vaccinated and closed the speech on a hopeful note: “We think the day we can meet again face to face is not far away.” / “We believe that every choice we make is the beginning of change. We hope that in this nascent new world we can all say to each other, ‘Welcome!’ ”

 

The scene then cut to a video of their hit “Permission to Dance” specially performed inside and around the United Nations’ iconic building on the east side of New York, accompanied by dozens of dancers. The video looked to have been performed within the past couple of days, as the weather in New York was crystal-clear over the weekend.

The event was part of the Sustainable Development Goals program at the U.N. and will be held at the beginning of the United Nation’s General Assembly’s High-Level Week. According to the announcement, “It takes place as the world experiences a deeply uneven response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which risks creating a two-tier recovery with significant implications for the advancement of the SDGs, especially in developing countries.”

Convened by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Moment is intended to provide world leaders with a platform to showcase the plans, actions and solutions that are needed to end the COVID-19 pandemic and set the world on course towards achieving the SDGs.