UN declares a day of universal joy

AFP News29 June 2012
The UN building in New York, where delegates have resolved that the pursuit of happiness is a "fundamental human goal"
The United Nations building in New York City. The United Nations on Thursday declared that March 20 each year will be the International Day of Happiness -- and it wants everyone to join in the fun

The United Nations on Thursday declared that March 20 each year will be the International Day of Happiness -- and it wants everyone to join in the fun.

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution proclaiming the new commemoration that adds to an already packed UN calendar of international days -- from world poetry day to world migratory bird day.

"The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal," said the resolution which was passed by consensus in the 193-member assembly.

The resolution calls on all member states "to observer the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness activities."

Securing happiness day was part of a diplomatic campaign by the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan which already has its own gross national happiness index.

Many governments now say that new elements, including happiness, must be included in ways of measuring prosperity which are now dominated by economic indicators.