By Michelle Nichols
New York – South Korean pop band Blackpink and American poet Amanda Gorman took to the UN stage on Monday to urge action on climate change and other global goals that include achieving gender equality and ending hunger and poverty.
Gorman read a new poem in the UN General Assembly chamber in New York, a day before world leaders start making annual speeches to the 193-member body.
“I only ask that you care before it’s too late, that you live aware and awake, that you lead with love in hours of hate. I challenge you to heed this call, I dare you to shape our fate. Above all, I dare you to do good, so that the world might be great,” said Gorman to a round of applause.
Gorman and Blackpink were taking part in an event to promote the 17 sustainable development goals created by the UN in 2015.
Speaking via video, the four members of Blackpink – UN advocates for the sustainable development goals – urged people to decrease energy consumption, choose local produce and cut food waste.
“We must seize this moment and take actions to create a world that is more sustainable and leave no one behind,“ said Blackpink member Jennie Kim.
A UN climate science panel has said governments and industries should drastically reduce fossil fuel emissions to contain global warming and limit its climate impacts.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said various perils were pushing the sustainable development goals “further out of reach”, describing the challenge of rescuing them as “immense”.
“Young people are demanding action — not only for themselves, but for the generations of the future. The perils we face are no match for a world united,” said Guterres. “Let’s get to work. Let’s get our world back on track.”