Today is International Day of Happiness

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A girl from China performs a fan dance at an international childrens meeting promoting culture and peace. UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi

The pursuit of happiness lies at the core of human endeavours, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a message marking the International Day of Happiness. He says people around the world aspire to lead happy and fulfilling lives free from fear and want, and in harmony with nature.

But he says, yet, basic material well-being is still elusive for far too many living in extreme poverty, while for many more, recurring socio-economic crises, violence and crime, environmental degradation and increasing threats of climate change are an ever-present threat.

Secretary-General Ban recalled that 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.

He says he's encouraged by the efforts of some Governments to design policies based on comprehensive well-being indicators. And he encourages others to follow suit.

On this first International Day of Happiness, Secretary-General Ban urges all to reinforce our commitment to inclusive and sustainable human development and renew our pledge to help others. He says when we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched. And he concludes: Compassion promotes happiness and will help build the future we want.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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