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SEVENTEEN Becomes UNESCO's First-Ever Goodwill Ambassador for Youth - Read the Full Speech & Watch the Ceremony!

SEVENTEEN Becomes UNESCO's First-Ever Goodwill Ambassador for Youth - Read the Full Speech & Watch the Ceremony!

The members of SEVENTEEN are making history!

The K-pop boy band attended a nomination ceremony on Wednesday (June 26) at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, where they officially assumed their role as UNESCO’s first-ever Goodwill Ambassador for Youth.

During the ceremony, SEVENTEEN spoke to importance of the strong companionship that brought them to where they are today, and encouraged the dreams of youth worldwide.

Keep reading to find out more…

“We are grateful to be recognized for our consistent effort and longstanding passion to contribute to youth worldwide,” said JOSHUA. “As the Ambassador for Youth, we will spread the power of companionship and contribute to building supportive youth communities for the better future we envision.”

“We know that our dreams don’t stand alone and now, to give back what we’ve received from all of you, we are determined to use our voice to create a global youth community made stronger through mutual love and support,” he added.

“We are delighted to join forces with our new and first Goodwill Ambassador for Youth, the iconic K-pop group SEVENTEEN, capable of uplifting and inspiring young people worldwide. SEVENTEEN and UNESCO together will support youth-led projects in the fields of creativity and well-being worldwide, helping young people from all backgrounds to successfully support their communities in particular through music, arts and sport,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, in a statement.

SEVENTEEN will donate $1 million to the joint Global Youth Grant Scheme with UNESCO, opening a new chapter of the group’s #GoingTogether global campaign. The joint Scheme will fund youth-led initiatives to build and support positive youth communities around the world.

Watch the full ceremony…

Read the full speech…

JOSHUA (English)
Ms. Director-General Audrey Azoulay, Her Excellency Sang Mi Bak, His Excellency Jai Chul Choi, distinguished guests, thank you for welcoming us. I’m Joshua, speaking on behalf of the 13 members of SEVENTEEN today. We were here at the UNESCO Youth Forum just last November, and it was an unforgettable experience. We always wanted to come back. Thank you for inviting SEVENTEEN to this important occasion.

Today, we are humbled and overwhelmed to stand before you for the first time as UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Youth. It is a great honor to be representing today’s young people, which is the priority group for UNESCO. We are grateful to be recognized for our consistent effort and longstanding passion to contribute to youth worldwide. Looking back, this has been a long journey for us, taking one step at a time, until we could stand before you as the Ambassador for Youth.

Ever since we made our debut, our music has talked about our own experiences and genuine emotions. For the past 9 years, in different stages of our youth, we have engaged with people who love our music, or as we call them, CARATs. Thanks to their love, we have built a strong bond and a sense of belonging with youth around the world.

Each of our members has gradually grown a sense of duty, to hopefully be able to speak on behalf of youth, and to encourage them to pursue their dreams. With this growing sense of duty, we began our donations to children’s organizations in 2017. In 2022, we partnered with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO to launch a global youth education campaign titled “Going Together.”

And last year, we took part in the Youth Forum, here at the UNESCO Headquarters. Meeting with youth delegates from around the world was an eye-opening experience which got us thinking about what more we could do for fellow young people. So when we received the designation letter from Director-General Azoulay for the Ambassadorship, all of us were surprised and honored. We really thought it was meant to be. So today we are truly thrilled to announce that we are joining hands with UNESCO to take our “Going Together” campaign to the next level.

Today, we would like to share our vision as the Ambassador for Youth, based on what we have learned in our own lives.

First, we want to tell our fellow youth that every unique dream that you have is important. Every single dream matters, whether it is big or small, loud or quiet, traditional or innovative, personal or public. Never let anyone, including yourself, belittle your dream.

Second, when you pursue your dream, please know that you are not alone. Find companionship with your fellow youth, and also give your support to them. As much as hard work and drive are important, a supportive community and strong companionship also play a huge role in pursuit of our dreams. We were not on a fast track to success as a K-pop band. And as a big group of 13 individuals, each of us has a different story about our intense journey of 9 years. But one thing we all agree on is that the strong companionship we’ve built along the way was the key. We have sung a lot about love and hope that we have felt in our youth, hoping to spread positive vibes to our fellow youth. But there were also tough times, when we sang together to bury our sorrow, struggling to break through, and become heroes for ourselves. And in that struggle, I cannot emphasize enough how much courage and inspiration we gained through communicating closely with CARATs. This is what kept us going.

We could overcome the hardships with gratitude only because we had a supportive community who helped us build our dreams together. In this supportive community that we built with our fellow youth, not only did we share countless exhilarating moments, but we also stood by each other through the greatest sorrows in life, including loss of loved ones. So from the bottom of our hearts, we know that our dreams don’t stand alone. And now, to give back what we’ve received from all of you, we are determined to use our voice to create a global youth community made stronger through mutual love and support.

As the Ambassador for Youth, we will spread the power of companionship and contribute to building supportive youth communities for the better future we envision. For the next chapter of our “Going Together” campaign, SEVENTEEN will donate 1 million dollars to the joint Global Youth Grant Scheme with UNESCO. We believe that youth have the most creative ideas and the strongest determination to make the world a better place. By providing funds and supporting those brilliant ideas, we hope this program will serve as a stepping stone for building positive youth communities. The official announcement will be made in August, so please keep an eye out for that, and in the meantime, spread the word!

We are emboldened to share this journey not only with the 13 members of SEVENTEEN but also with youth worldwide. Let us all be one team and build a supportive community of global youth.

In our song “Super,” we repeat “I Luv My Team I Luv My Crew,” shouting out in awe of the companionship we feel around us. And we want to tell you, from today, all youth are “our” team and “our” crew. Please know that you are not alone. You are a part of us, and your dreams are also SEVENTEEN’s dreams. Today I’m speaking on behalf of the group, but I want to reassure you that all of us share the same vision. I would like to invite all the members of SEVENTEEN to join me in our message to the world.

HOSHI (English)
Your dream is our dance.

THE8 (Chinese)
Your dream shines upon us.

DK (Korean)
Your dream motivates us.

VERNON (English)
Your dream is what we cherish.

JEONGHAN (Japanese)
Your dream is more important than anything, even if the world ends tonight.

S.COUPS (Korean)
Your dream is the future for all of us.

JOSHUA (English)
For your dreams, SEVENTEEN will stand by your side. SEVENTEEN will be “going together” for your dream. Thank you.

Find out which K-pop groups just debuted in 2024!

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