Bhutan spreads happiness to UN
Lhatu Wangchuk admits his vision is Utopian, but should be worked on
This week the General Assembly adopted a nonbinding resolution that aims to make happiness a “development indicator”.
Bhutan’s ambassador Lhatu Wangchuk told the BBC the next step was to help UN members better understand the concept.
He admitted some were sceptical when Bhutan started lobbying for the resolution 10 months ago. But ultimately it won 66 co-sponsors, including the UK.
The idea is based on Bhutan’s model of GNH, or Gross National Hap- piness, which measures quality of life by trying to strike a balance between the material and the spiritual.
The resolution invites member states to draw up their own measures of happiness and contribute them to the UN’s development agenda.
“It’s basically an approach,” said Mr Wangchuk. “Our initial idea was to bring the concept of happiness to the consciousness of the UN membership… because we know that GDP indicators are inadequate to address human needs.”
Bhutan has put the politics of happiness on the UN’s agenda.