President Moon Jae-in stated South Korea's commitment to inclusive global cooperation, to ensure no one is left behind.
He spoke Monday at the Sustainable Development Goals Moment -- a UN event aimed at accelerating the transition to sustainable development.
"Humanity's strides towards an inclusive future were held back by COVID-19, yet, ironically, the pandemic has shed light on the desperate need for SDGs. We must go beyond simply overcoming the crisis and build back better and stronger."
Moon said that should start with fair access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, reiterating South Korea's pledge to donate 200 million U.S. dollars to the COVAX facility.
He added that Seoul is committed to making continued efforts to expand vaccine supply and support.
The president also highlighted the need for collaboration across borders regarding climate action, saying that carbon neutrality is a goal that developed and developing countries must move toward in tandem.
He said advanced countries must share their experiences and transfer technologies.
Moon also noted the importance of reducing the digital divide, as well as the need to pool the wisdom for intergenerational co-existence.
"All generations, as we strive to transcend the boundaries of nationality, race, and gender to communicate and connect to one another, must recognize that after all, we are part of 'one planet.' We must not forget, in particular, that the future belongs to our future generations."
Moon was joined by K-pop sensation BTS -- South Korea's special envoys for future generations and culture.
The group gave a message of hope amid the pandemic, saying that today's young generation is not afraid of change, but welcome it.
"There were times during the past two years when I, too, felt bewildered and troubled, but still here we have people who cry out, 'Let's live on ', 'Let’s make the best of this moment.'"
"If we believe in possibilities and hope, even when the unexpected happens, we will not lose our way but discover new ones."
"Efforts are continuously underway to keep this new reality going forward, and I think the day we can meet again is not far away."
Following the session, President Moon and BTS were interviewed by Melissa Fleming, the UN's under secretary-general for global communications.
She asked why he picked BTS as special envoys -- to which Moon said that the "future belongs to the future generations."
"President Moon stressed that participation by future generations is important to achieve the UN sustainable development goals, hoping that the constructive influence of BTS helps draw interest from young people. Kim Min-ji, Arirang News. New York."