The news anchor was referring to members of the organization and their invited guests who were gathered for a special event leading up to World Humanitarian Day, quickly approaching on Saturday. Cooper, himself a humanitarian in many respects, was on hand to host a series of interviews with local and international humanitarians that would eventually lead into a performance from Beyoncé.
The 30-year-old star had appeared at the United Nations earlier in the day, where she rehearsed her performance of "I Was Here" and met with members of the United Nations. Now, at 8 p.m. ET on Friday night, Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson made his way to the stage welcoming everyone to the General Assembly Hall and giving an early introduction of Beyoncé.
"Tonight brings more than her stunning talents; she brings inspiration to help another person, to help another human being," he told the crowd, going on to describe "I Was Here" as a "profound and moving song." When he slipped on the title for a second, calling the song "I Was There," it became evident that there were some Bey stans in the audience. They quickly corrected him and joined him in laughing it off, while he added, "in fact 'here' and 'there' is the same thing — that's solidarity."