After an introduction by UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore, a solemn RM kicked off the K-pop group’s remarks — which were filmed individually — by looking back on how the outbreak of the pandemic interrupted their plans for the year.
“COVID-19 was beyond my imagination. Our world tour was totally cancelled, all our plans went away, and I became alone,” he explained. “I looked up but couldn’t see the stars at night.”
The rest of the members then go on to explain how the isolation gave them “precious time, unwanted but welcome,” and eventually led to the septet collaborating on new songs because of the experience. “I don’t know who was first. We embraced all these emotions and the seven of us began to make music together,” said J-Hope, adding, “This is where the music came from, and this made us honest.”
Finally, RM concluded the speech with a message of hope and resilience in these times of unprecedented unease and uncertainty.
“When I start feeling lost…I remember the words I spoke here two years ago: ‘Love yourself, speak yourself,'” he said. “Now more than ever, we must try to remember who we are and face who we are. We must try to love ourselves and imagine the future. BTS will be there with you.
“Our tomorrow may be dark, painful, difficult, and we might stumble or fall down,” RM concluded. “But the stars shine brightest when the night is darkest. And if the stars are hidden, we’ll let moonlight guide us. If even the moon is dark, let our faces be the light that helps us find our way. Let’s reimagine our world. We’re huddled together tired, but let’s dream again…Life goes on. Let’s live on.”
Watch BTS’ full speech to the UN General Assembly below.