K-pop girl group Aespa’s Giselle, Karina, Winter and Ningning attended the opening of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development at the UN General Assembly Hall in New York City on July 5.

The forum, which has the theme “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” was chaired by Collen Vixen Kelapile, president of the Economic and Social Council.

K-pop girl group Aespa at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development held at the UN General Assembly Hall in New York City on July 5 (Screenshot from UN Web TV)

Before Aespa, those who spoke at the forum were Amina J. Mohammed, UN deputy secretary-general; Nicholas Stern, professor of Economics and Government and chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics; Suriya Chindawongse, vice president of Economic and Social Council; Qu Dongyu, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization; Mari Pangestu, managing director of the Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank Group; Kailash Satyarthi, SDG advocate, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from India; and Valentina Munoz Rabanal, SDG advocate, youth feminist activist and digital rights advocates from Chile.

Aespa graced the forum and talked about metaverse and sustainable development under the title “Next Generation to the Next Level.”

“And we are so honored to be here today. Our group Aespa uniquely moves between reality and virtual reality. We exist here in the real world, and four of our avatar members exist in the virtual world,” said Giselle.

She added, “Together we are often called the metaverse girl group. People are paying more attention to creating the best possible metaverse world. It transcends many boundaries. Reality and virtual reality, time and space, and genres and generations.

“As the metaverse accelerates, we have to ask the question: Are we working just as hard to create the best possible real world? The metaverse reflects reality. If our own reality is not sustainable, it would become difficult to sustain the possibilities of the virtual world,” she said.

According to Giselle, “Without sustainable ecosystems or equal opportunities for quality living, there will be no real world to be mirrored. The topic of sustainable development is urgent and we believe the next generation must support sustainable development goals in order to protect the world that we live in.”

“Aespa will continue to connect with the next generation through music and will work to represent sustainable goals in reality, hence, within the metaverse,” she said.

According to a copy of the HLPF program, “With 2022, we have entered the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, that has inflicted unprecedented human suffering. With its combined social, economic and health impact, the pandemic has outpaced any other major crisis in recent history. The 2022 HLPF will take stock of the impact of COVID-19 and the other ongoing crises on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

It added, “The forum will provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations on how to advance the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda during the Decade of Action and Delivery, as part of ensuring sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery from the pandemic, leaving no one behind.”