Demi-Leigh Nel Peters, K-pop and a Youtube sensation - why the 73rd U.N. General Assembly was all about the youth


Yesterday, on the 24th of September, the United Nations General Assembly held a high-level plenary meeting on global peace in honour of of the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, known as the Nelson Mandela Peace summit.

There were many big names in attendance. From the U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to K-Pop super group, BTS who delivered an inspiring speech on 'loving yourself' to everyone gathered. 

It is clear that the U.N. is trying to appeal to a younger demographic in order to inspire change in the youth - BTS currently dominates the 15-25 age global community. 

A senior diplomat told CBS news, "The development goals are set to be completed in 2030 and most heads of state coming to the General Assembly are 60+ years old. We need the next generation to follow through."

READ MORE: 16-year-old Zulaikha Patel is still fighting for women’s rights

"The change in demographics the world is experiencing, coupled with fast-moving technological advances, presents a critical moment in history," said UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore.

"Young people may represent 25% of the global population, but they account for 100% of the future. We cannot afford to fail them," Henrietta said.

Monday's event, the pre-game to today's General Debate, began with 193 member nations and saw BTS perform at an event entitled, "Generation unlimited" sponsored by UNICEF, the children's agency, to promote a new partnership, the education segment of an ambitious program called "Youth2030" of the Secretary General.

READ MORE: This 17-year-old Palestinian girl who was released after 8 months in prison is one of many young women who gave up their childhoods to change the world

BTS is iconic to a generation of young people across the globe. Their last album was the first-ever album made by a Korean artist to reach the top place on the Billboard 200 list.

In a statement about the U.N. event Monday, BTS, with their new title of UNICEF Global Supporters, said, "We think the mutual support from youth to each other is the first step to show love."

Another headliner at the UNICEF event was the recently-appointed actress, comedian and author Lilly Singh, who was appointed UNICEF'S newest Goodwill Ambassador at a special event in New Delhi. Singh said: "I'm endlessly inspired by this generation and am committed to do what I can to help them achieve a brighter future."

READ MORE: The Indian dancers taking on gender-based violence

Federica Mogherini, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who is meeting with several countries at UNGA this year about the Iran Nuclear deal, trade and other issues, conveyed the sense of a cheerleader for the project: "Let's make this happen: make sure that every young woman and man finds their place in society, through education, training or a good job, by 2030."

UNICEF estimates that the global population of adolescents and young people will reach two billion by 2030 and yet, more than 200 million young people of lower- and upper-secondary school age are not in school.

Universal youth education was the focus of the meeting. World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said, "When we invest in our youth, we are giving them equality of opportunity, a chance to achieve their aspirations, and a better economic future."

Here are some pictures and videos of our fave celebs using their platform for good at the prestigious event. 

BTS band members delivered a heart warming speech about learning to love yourself.

Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters represented Smile Train during the U.N. General Assembly.

Youtube sensation Lilly Singh, also known as IISuperwomanII, spoke to the assembly at the launch of the United Nations Strategy and the Generation Unlimited Partnership.

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