In 2012 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 20th March annually as the International Day of Happiness. In celebration of this event in 2014, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued the following message.
The pursuit of happiness lies at the core of human endeavours. People around the world aspire to lead happy and fulfilling lives free from fear and want, and in harmony with nature.
Yet, basic material well-being is still elusive for far too many living in extreme poverty. For many more, recurring socio-economic crises, violence and crime, environmental degradation and increasing threats of climate change are an ever-present threat.
At last year’s Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, United Nations Member States agreed on the need for a balanced approach to sustainable development by integrating its three pillars – economic growth, social development and environmental protection. They recognised that in order to better inform policy decisions, broader measures of progress should complement Gross Domestic Product.
I am encouraged by the efforts of some Governments to design policies based on comprehensive well-being indicators. I encourage others to follow suit. On this first International Day of Happiness, let us reinforce our commitment to inclusive and sustainable human development and renew our pledge to help others. When we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched. Compassion promotes happiness and will help build the future we want.
You can read and download the original United Nations resolution declaring 20 March annually the International Day of Happiness here.
For more information on the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness, click here.
**The Findhorn Foundation is an NGO Associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations and is regularly represented in UN Briefing sessions.