Seventeen makes history as first K-pop group at UNESCO Youth Forum

2023 has been a good year for the K-pop mega-group Seventeen, with the release of two successful mini albums, FML and SEVENTEENTH HEAVEN, a string of accolades and brand deals for each of the 13 members and, most recently, a UNESCO speech and performance.

Seventeen attended the 13th edition of UNESCO’s Youth Forum on 14 November at the organization’s headquarters in Paris, France, where they delivered remarks focused on social issues, particularly their signature advocacy, inequality in education.

Despite the absence of the mega-group’s leader S.Coups due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury, Joshua, Jun, Woozi, Mingyu, Seungkwan and Vernon delivered messages of solidarity and hope on behalf of the members.

“Through the campaign, we seek to make young people, the ones who will be leading the future, be aware of the importance of education,” said Joshua, who credited the group’s fans for their big help in raising awareness and funds to support Seventeen’s educational campaigns.

“We ran campaign booths at our fan meeting events. We took all the donations, added to it some of the profit from our world tour and used it to build a school in Malawi,” said Joshua.

The members also shared personal stories on achieving growth and dreams as a group despite the doubts and struggles they had faced in their eight-year-long career.

“We weren’t discouraged. We were too young to be discouraged. The passion for our dreams wasn’t deterred in the slightest,” said Woozi, stressing that all the time they spent and shared together made the journey enjoyable.

“We were teachers to one another. We practiced together, created together and became better versions of ourselves. We may not be perfect as individuals, but together, we are the best team,” chimed in Jun.

The group performed several of their hits, including “_WORLD,” “Darl+ing,” “Headliner,” “God of Music” and the English version of their song “Together.”

Seventeen is the first K-pop group to speak and perform at the forum. They also gathered the largest crowd at a UNESCO forum, with over 3,600 people signing up for only 550 available seats. There were also 173 youth representatives who attended the event.

Apart from the release of two successful mini albums this year, Seventeen’s BSS (a sub-unit that consists of Hoshi DK, and Seungkwan) also dropped the critically acclaimed album SECOND WIND, which includes the popular song “Fighting.”

After holding two successful and sold-out concerts at the Mall of Asia Arena and the Philippine Arena last year, Seventeen is coming back to the country on 13-14 February 2024 for their FOLLOW tour at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan, bringing joy once more to Filipino CARATs.