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Making History: The 73rd Session of the U.N. General Assembly

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Making History: The 73rd Session of the U.N. General Assembly

Photo courtesy of CLEO Magazine, Singapore

Photo courtesy of CLEO Magazine, Singapore

Photo courtesy of CLEO Magazine, Singapore

Thuy Pham, Journalist

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The United Nations General Assembly currently serves as one of the six parts of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization whose sole purpose to promote international cooperation and advocate stability within international relations. The 73rd session began on September 18 and will conclude on October 1 of this year. The United Nations General Assembly meets annually, most commonly in the month of September, to discuss international policies and matters that concern international stability. This particular session of the General Assembly was particularly momentous, with the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit and even the attendance of the first K-pop group to ever speak at the United Nations, BTS.

The Nelson Mandela Peace Summit was held to celebrate the birth of Nelson Mandela, a major figure in international relations. Nelson Mandela was a revolutionary political leader from South Africa, who publicly opposed the presence of the apartheid (racial segregation) laws of the country. When he stepped up to serve as president of the nation, he was the first African American person to serve as head-of-state. His influence over his people allowed for the bringing of stability, equality, and peace within his country. The Peace Summit that was held at the session is one that gives world leaders an opportunity to renew their commitment for global peace, conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and more, according to the United Nations’ official website.

Seven-member Korean pop boy group, BTS, also played a prominent role in the 73rd session. Earlier this year, the group announced their campaign in collaboration with UNICEF titled ‘Love Myself.’ The intentions of the campaign are not only to raise funds to combat domestic violence in developing nations, but it is also to teach their fans, the A.R.M.Y. to learn to love themselves. The group served as representatives for the Youth 2030 movement, the Generation Unlimited movement, and the further promotion of the ‘Love Myself’ campaign worldwide.

Leader Kim Namjoon, RM, took to the podium to share his thoughts, his story, and his overall perspective on the message of the campaign. Kim’s heart-wrenching speech began with his personal journey that allowed him to become who he is today, his experience in becoming a member of BTS, and how him and his fellow members have come to develop as people as a result of their involvement in the campaign. He concluded his speech by thanking BTS’ fans, sharing his current perspective on the world today, and encouraging those who viewed the speech to “speak themselves.”

“We have learned to love ourselves. So now, I urge you to speak yourself…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…just speak yourself. Find your name and find your voice by speaking yourself,” said Kim.

Kim’s speech at the 73rd session of the General Assembly has birthed a new message, ‘Speak Yourself,’ which not only urges BTS’ fans but everyone around the world to share their stories. In sharing such a message, the group hopes to continue to touch the hearts of and inspire millions of people around the world, something that the group has been hoping to achieve since their debut.

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Making History: The 73rd Session of the U.N. General Assembly