UNESCO Seventeen's story that touched youth around the world
UNESCO Seventeen's story that touched youth around the world
From small individuals coming together to form a huge team, to stories of meeting in their mid-teens and growing up together as teachers to each other. Youth representatives from all over the world turned up their ears and listened to the growth narrative that K-pop group Seventeen told honestly for nearly an hour. Some fans even wiped away tears when the hidden growing pains of the thirteen members were revealed.

The group Seventeen (S.Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, The8, Mingyu, DK, Seungkwan, Vernon, Dino), the first K-pop artist to stand on the podium at the UNESCO headquarters, is reaching out to young people around the world with their honest growth story. It impressed fans.

Seventeen was exclusively assigned a special session at the 13th 'UNESCO Youth Forum' held at UNESCO Paris, France headquarters on the 15th (Korean time, 14th local time) and gave a speech and performance for about an hour. Attending the event were UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, Secretary-General of the Korean National Commission for UNESCO Han Kyung-koo, head-of-state representatives from UNESCO member countries (194 countries), about 170 young people, and 550 ordinary visitors.

In the main hall, the largest and most symbolic space at UNESCO headquarters, Seventeen cheerfully but seriously raised their voices calling for action from young people and future generations. On this day, members Seungkwan, Jun, Woozi, Mingyu, Joshua, and Vernon (in the order of speeches) gave speeches in three languages (Korean, English, and Chinese) on behalf of the group. Immediately after the speech, the group performed five songs that contained the group's unique positive message: 'Let's overcome this together instead of being frustrated.'
UNESCO Seventeen's story that touched youth around the world
UNESCO Seventeen's story that touched youth around the world
“Seventeen’s unique education method of learning from each other in a fun way is Seventeen’s unique method of growth.”

Seungkwan, who was the first speaker, opened his speech by mentioning the special relationship between his hometown Jeju Island and UNESCO. Seungkwan said, “Jeju Island is the first in the world to have UNESCO designate an area in three categories of natural environment at the same time,” and added, “The little boy who dreamed of a future on an island designated as a World Natural Heritage by UNESCO is standing at UNESCO headquarters today.” I tried my luck.

Jun then mentioned Seventeen's solidarity in which the members grew by becoming each other's teachers. Jun said, “From the day I first met the members in 2012 until now, there is one thing I am certain of every day. “It’s hard to do alone, but if 13 of us work together, we can do it,” he said. “We were each other’s teachers.” We practiced together, created together, and gradually became better versions of ourselves. “Each of us may not be perfect, but together we are the best team.”

We also talked about the past process, which was not all smooth. Woozi said, “I couldn’t have expected the success I have now from the beginning. “On the contrary, there were many unfavorable views that said, ‘You will fail.’” He said, “The important thing was that the only question remaining was whether or not we could overcome these limitations together.”

Woozi cited his passion for his dream and the presence of his members as the driving force behind overcoming adversity. He said, “Success did not come quickly, but it was always fun to burn off passion with the 13 members. “The members were always cheerful and never lost their smile no matter what,” he said. “Team Seventeen’s colors began to emerge as the members, who had different abilities and strengths such as vocals, performance, and hip-hop, learned from each other and got along. He emphasized, “Seventeen’s unique educational method of teaching and learning from each other in a cheerful way was Seventeen’s unique method of growth.”

13 goats named after members donated, touching reply story revealed

Mingyu mentioned the first donation activity that made Seventeen recognize the importance of sharing. Mingyu said, “I received my first payment in the fall of 2016, the year after my debut. “It wasn’t a large amount of money, but I wanted to share this happy event with someone,” he said. “I gave 13 goats named after the members as a gift to children in Tanzania, Africa.” In the process, they received a letter from the children saying, 'I will raise goats well for my dream,' and all the members were so moved that they started donating.

Joshua promised to expand Seventeen's sharing, which started with 13 goats, to a global level with UNESCO. Joshua said, “I want to build a school to build educational infrastructure in the third world. He also promised, “We will support the continued operation of a discussion forum for education,” and “We will actively work as an ambassador for UNESCO to promote the importance of education, which is an important task of our time.”

Joshua continued, “Seventeen experienced that there is a way to achieve dreams through mutual learning through solidarity. “Because learning, like Seventeen, can change a person, expand that person’s dreams, and further change the world,” he said. “Let’s make it so we’re all #GoingTogether by learning together.” He raised his voice.

Finally, Vernon shouted out some of the lyrics of the five songs sung that day, repeatedly emphasizing the message that Seventeen wanted to convey to the world. Vernon said, “Please open a new future in the name of togetherness. With each other's care, we can be everything the world needs. “The moment we are together, we will become the courage for countless tomorrows and move forward,” he said. “In that way, we can dance together and be happy even if we do not know each other.” “If we are together, we will never lose our way and walk straight,” he concluded his speech.
UNESCO Seventeen's story that touched youth around the world
UNESCO Seventeen's story that touched youth around the world
Following the speech, five songs including ‘God of Music’ were sung… Spreading cheerful energy

Following the speech, Seventeen brightened up the UNESCO main hall with a music stage. They passionately sang a total of 5 songs, including ‘_WORLD’, ‘Darl+ing (ENG ver)’, ‘Headliner’, ‘God of Music’, and ‘Let’s Go Together (ENG ver)’. It was a stage where the team's unique free-spirited and cheerful energy stood out.

The atmosphere at the scene was truly explosive. The audience stood and cheered at every stage and enjoyed Seventeen's songs together. Not only did they hear huge cheers that seemed to pierce the ceiling of the main hall, but they also danced to Seventeen's songs. During the 'God of Music' stage, all members came down to the audience and worked closely with the audience.

SEVENTEEN moved people through bright and emotional melodies, musically proving why they were able to stand in this position, and powerfully engraving SEVENTEEN's name on people all over the world. In particular, a UNESCO official said, “This is the first time that the main hall of the UNESCO headquarters has been full,” and “the audience reaction to Seventeen’s speech and stage is unbelievable.” In addition, coverage by leading overseas media outlets, including local correspondents and global news agency AP, was also hot.

Seventeen signed a business agreement with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO in August last year and has been carrying out the education campaign #Going Together. This year, Going Together was expanded into a global campaign by signing a tripartite business agreement with UNESCO Headquarters and the Korean National Commission for UNESCO.

Through the Going Together campaign, Seventeen has emphasized that young people like themselves can become agents of educational change. We are looking forward to the positive influence of Seventeen, who spoke strongly in this speech to help this campaign expand further.

Meanwhile, the 'UNESCO Youth Forum' is an event held during the UNESCO General Assembly and is a program designed to enable the young generation to raise their voices. It is an opportunity to strengthen solidarity by sharing opinions and experiences and seeking solutions to the problems faced by the young generation. Seventeen is the first time that a Korean singer has exclusively conducted a special session at this event.

Reporter Junho Yoon, Ten Asia delo410@tenasia.co.kr translated by google