The United Nations has adopted Bhutan’s proposal to include happiness as the Ninth Millennium Development Goal (MDG).
The proposal was adopted unanimously by the 193 member countries at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday.
Speaking to the media today, the Prime Minister Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y. Thinley said this is a significant achievement for Bhutan.
Bhutan’s proposal to include “Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development” was made by the Prime Minister at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last year.
The adoption of the proposal means happiness has been officially placed on the agenda of the United Nations. It is a fitting tribute to Bhutan’s development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH).
It will provide an opportunity for the international community to explore alternative measures for addressing well-being and social progress in their national policies and programmes.
The reasoning is that since happiness is the ultimate desire of every individual, it must also be the purpose of development to create the enabling conditions for happiness.
The Prime Minister said Bhutan will continue to provide leadership in the development of the concept, implementation, and promotion and translate happiness in terms of public policy among the members of the UN family.
At the regional level, Bhutan was successful in incorporating the GNH philosophy as part of the Ulaanbaatar Declaration in April this year. The declaration was further considered and adopted by the 67th session of the UNESCAP in May this year.
Bhutan will host an international conference on GNH in August where participants from diverse backgrounds will share their interpretations of happiness.
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