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Seventeen 1st K-pop artist to speak at UNESCO

The boy band will give a speech at the 13th UNESCO Youth Forum on Nov. 14 in Paris

Oct. 27, 2023 - 15:24 By Choi Ji-won
A picture provided by Pledis Entertainment shows Seventeen members posing after they sign a business partnership for the "#GoingTogether" campaign with the Korea National Council for UNESCO in August 2022. (Pledis Entertainment)

K-pop boy band Seventeen is heading to Paris in November to speak and dance at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization headquarters as the first K-pop artist in history to do so.

"Seventeen will take the stage at the 13th UNESCO Youth Forum at 7 p.m., local time, on Nov. 14," the band's agency Pledis Entertainment said Friday, adding, "They will be assigned a special session and give a speech and perform for about an hour."

The Youth Forum is an integral event that takes place during the biennial UNESCO General Conference. The program aims to provide the younger generation a space to engage in discussion and debate, and to propose their ideas for solutions to problems that the world shares.

Seventeen will be the first-ever Korean artist ever to have been invited to administer a whole session during an event at the UNESCO General Conference.

"This goes to show that Seventeen has come to play a key role in the global community who represents not just its fans, but its fellow youth generation," the agency acclaimed.

During its hourlong session, the 13-piece multinational band is set to deliver a message that "the solidarity between the global youths and education will bring the change to the future of the youth generation and the world." The bandmates will also share solutions stemming from their own experiences to help the youths in taking actions for sustainable development, the agency added.

Since its debut in 2015, Seventeen has consistently released inspirational music conveying messages about fighting challenges in life and advancing through them. Their songs have resonated with global listeners, and have turned the group into one of K-pop's biggest groups until this day.

The expression "sustainable development" especially falls in line with the group, as Seventeen has shown stable and steady growth. Despite various obstacles, all 13 members renewed their contracts together in 2021, and reacorded career-highs with every comeback.

Its latest album, the 11th EP "Seventeenth Heaven," sold 4,629,479 copies in just one week, setting an all-time first-week sales record for K-pop. It beat the previous record of 4.55 million first-week sales record set by its record "FML" in April. With the two albums, the group has sold over a whopping 11 million copies in total this year.

Hybe, the company under which Pledis Entertainment is housed, said in Friday's statement, "It's significant that a singer group from South Korea -- a nation that took its first step for revival from the aftermath of war with the educational support of UNESCO of over 70 years ago -- addresses global youth with a hopeful message about solidarity and youth."

The announcement about Seventeen's attendance follows a partnership between Pledis Entertainment, UNESCO headquarters and the Korean National Commission for UNESCO. The three bodies inked a business agreement that extends from the "#GoingTogether" campaign Seventeen launched with UNESCO Korea in August 2022.

The 13th Youth Forum will focus on the social impacts of climate change and the need to achieve an equitable climate transition. It will take place during the 42nd UNESCO General Conference, which will be attended by national representatives from 194 member countries and chiefs of various other youth-related UN bodies and nongovernmental organizations.