Kim Namjoon, K-pop band BTS speak at UN youth event

Kim Namjoon, K-pop band BTS speak at UN youth event

Members of the Korean K-Pop group BTS attend a meeting at the U.N. high level event regarding youth during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (Source: AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) Members of the Korean K-Pop group BTS attend a meeting at the U.N. high level event regarding youth during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (Source: AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

(RNN) – Kim Namjoon, a performer with the Korean-pop band BTS, gave a roughly six-minute speech at the United Nations on Monday to help launch a new UN youth initiative.

Kim, who performs under the name RM, spoke about his personal history and the group’s “Love Myself” campaign, encouraging their fans to foster a positive self-image. He was flanked by his bandmates throughout the speech.

His appearance was aligned with the launch of the UN’s “Generation Unlimited” initiative. The organization describes the program as a “global partnership that aims to ensure that every young person is in education, learning, training or employment by 2030.”

Kim said the “Love Myself” campaign led to an outpouring from fans of BTS, a group with a massive worldwide following.

“After releasing our ‘Love Yourself’ albums, and launching the ‘Love Myself’ campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome the hardships in life and start loving themselves,” Kim said.

He added that he wanted young people to assert their voice in the global community.

“I want to hear your voice and I want to hear your conviction,” he said. “No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin color, your gender identity – just speak yourself. Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself.”

The group has prioritized spreading a positive message to its young fans. South Korea has the highest suicide rate in the world among children ages 10-19.

Kim’s words spread widely among those fans on Twitter.

A hashtag associated with the group’s appearance, #BTSxUnitedNations, trended with almost a million-and-a-half tweets on Monday. And “Namjoon” also was tweeted more than 750,000 times.

The executive director of Unicef, Henrietta Fore, also tweeted a picture with the group, and received 70,000 likes, more than four times her own follower count.

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