UN observes International Day of Happiness
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Palau, Permanent Mission of São Tomé and Príncipe and the Permanent Mission of Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the United Nations organized a special event entitled “Happiness and Well-being in the UN 2030 Agenda: Achieving a New Vision of Sustainable Development for the People and the Planet” on 20 March 2016 at the United Nations in New York to celebrate the International Day of Happiness. The event was a tribute to Bhutan for its initiative in spearheading the United Nations resolution A/RES/65/309 entitled “Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development” that was adopted on 19 July 2011.
The daylong event was organized in collaboration with various civil society organizations. Participants included the diplomatic community at-large, scientific experts, personalities, celebrities and artists and representatives of youth. The program included a special performance by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ani Choying Drolma and a special address by Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the UN General Assembly. Permanent Representatives of several Missions to the United Nations as well as representatives from civil society organizations and the academia made statements on the issue of happiness, in which they also paid tribute to Bhutan for its pioneering role in promoting happiness in the global development agenda. The program also included cultural performances by various artists and activities such as meditative techniques aimed to the visualization of increasing the happiness in the world.
The Ambassador Kunzang C. Namgyel, Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the United Nations made a statement to acknowledge the tribute to Bhutan. In her statement, Ambassador conveyed the warm greetings of His Majesty the King. She said that under the wise and able leadership of the Monarchs, Bhutan had endeavored to fulfill the vision and goals of the Charter of the United Nations. In this context, she mentioned Bhutan, guided by its development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH), had ensured inclusive development and achieved most of the targets of the MDGs; successfully established a vibrant democracy; and remained committed to safeguarding the world’s environmental heritage and thereby combatting climate change. She highlighted that the Agenda 2030 provided a historic opportunity to ensure a happier world and in this regard called for the need to awaken the spirit of global solidarity and shared values for the sake of the planet and for the sake of all humanity.