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In pursuit of happiness

Mar 26, 2014, 10:00 AM

"Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live.”

This statement from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was part of his message for the International Day of Happiness, observed on 20th March 2014

The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal, according the world’s top international civil servant.

Speaking at the high-level meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” convened during the sixty-sixth session of the UN General Assembly, Ban Ki-moon stated:

The world “needs a new economic paradigm that recognizes the parity between the three pillars of sustainable development.

“Social, economic and environmental well-being are indivisible. Together they define gross global happiness.”

The meeting was convened at the initiative of Bhutan, a country which recognized the supremacy of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product.

The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281 of 12 July 2012 proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness

It thus recognized the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world, and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”

Dalai Lama