International Day of Happiness


Human Wrongs Watch 

The UN on 18 March 2016 appointed Red, the leader of the “Angry Birds” mobile game characters, as an envoy to inspire climate action toward a sustainable and happier future for all.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Red from the ‘Angry Birds’ who was appointed Honorary Ambassador for International Day of Happiness. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Red’s appointment, as Honorary Ambassador for Green, is part of a UN campaign launched today in partnership with the globally renowned characters to make a direct link between tackling climate change and people’s happiness and well-being on the occasion of the International Day of Happiness on Sunday, 20 March.
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“The Angry Birds have entertained millions of people around the world – and now they are part of making the world a better place,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a launch event at UN Headquarters in New York.
“We are proud to give Red a reason to go Green,” he said.

“There is no better way to mark the International Day of Happiness than to have our animated ambassador raise awareness about the importance of addressing climate change to create a safer, more sustainable and happier future for all.”

The campaign, in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Foundation, asks the general public across the world to make the Angry Birds happy by taking actions on climate change and sharing their photos and commitments on social media platforms using the common hashtag #AngryBirdsHappyPlanet.

By recycling, taking public transportation and conserving water, for example, individuals can share tips on how they can live sustainably and happily in their everyday lives, he said.

Ban Ki-moon names The Angry Bird’s ‘Red’ Honourary Ambassador for Green on the International Day of Happiness. Credit: United Nations

 

As part of his ambassadorial duties, Red will go on a “virtual world tour” starting on 21 March, highlighting various ways to take climate action. The tour will take him to Paris, where countries adopted an historic agreement to address climate change in December, and will end in New York, where world leaders will sign the Paris Agreement at UN Headquarters on 22 April.

 

During the launch event, the voice actors from the upcoming Angry Bird movie, Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, and Maya Rudolph, and producers John Cohen and Catherine Winder gave hundreds of students gathered in the iconic UN General Assembly Hall a sneak preview of the #AngryBirdsHappyPlanet campaign materials, including public service announcements created to support the campaign.

They also asked the young audience for their support to the campaign by doing their part to make a difference on climate change.

In a message to mark this year’s Happiness Day, Ban said that “At this time of grave injustices, devastating wars, mass displacement, grinding poverty and other man-made causes of suffering,” the Day is a global chance to assert that “peace, well-being and joy deserve primacy.”

“It is about more than individual contentment; it is an affirmation that we have a collective responsibility to humanity,” he added.

By advancing progress towards the interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the UN General Assembly last September, “we can help spread happiness and secure peace,” he stressed.

“The best way to celebrate this International Day of Happiness is by taking action to alleviate suffering,” he urged.

Since 2013, the UN has annually observed the Day on 20 March as a way to recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people worldwide. This year’s focus is on the relationship between having a healthy planet and happiness. (Source: UN).

Does happiness have a sound? And, if so, what does it actually sound like?

That is the question the United Nations had on 16 March 2015 asked as it launched its latest campaign – #HappySoundsLike – an appeal for the global citizenry “to nominate a song that brings a smile to your face” ahead of this year’s International Day of Happiness, observed annually on 20 March.

03-16-2015Happy

Photo: UNICEF

Spearheading the effort, Ban Ki-moon’s video contribution urged viewers around the world to ‘Be happy!’ in the UN’s six official languages and join the Organization’s call for people to demonstrate their solidarity with those “facing tough challenges.”

“On this day we are using the universal language of music to show solidarity with the millions of people around the world suffering from poverty, human rights abuses, humanitarian crises and the effects of environmental degradation and climate change,” he stated on 16 MArch 2015 in a news release.

The campaign, made possible with the support of global music streaming service MixRadio, seeks to seize the power of music and “inspire hope for a better tomorrow” as it encourages people to suggest songs that best represent the feeling of happiness.

Ban nominated his Messenger of Peace Stevie Wonder’s song “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” to the playlist, adding that to him #happysoundslike a new climate deal and agreed set of sustainable development goals, both on the agenda of world leaders for later this year.

‘Fill world with happiness’

Happiness for the entire human family is one of the main goals of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon declared on 20 March 2015, as the Organization kicked-off its global celebrations marking the 2015 annual observance of the International Day of Happiness.

Children from the Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced perform traditional dances at the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, El Fasher, Sudan. UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

“Peace, prosperity, lives of dignity for all – this is what we seek. We want all men, women and children to enjoy all their human rights. We want all countries to know the pleasure of peace,” the Secretary-General said in his message for the Day.

“We want people and planet alike to be blessed with sustainable development, and to be spared the catastrophic impacts of climate change.”

Peace, prosperity, lives of dignity for all – this is what we seek. We want all men, women and children to enjoy all their human rights. We want all countries to know the pleasure of peace.

In April 2012, the UN held a high-level meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” at the initiative of Bhutan, a country which recognized the supremacy of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product (GDP).

In July of that year, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness, recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in people’s lives and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.

As part of its effort to emphasize the importance of happiness in daily life, the UN along with global music streaming service MixRadio has launched the #HappySoundsLike campaign, appealing to the global citizenry “to nominate a song that brings a smile to your face.”

The campaign seeks to seize the power of music and “inspire hope for a better tomorrow” as it encourages people to suggest songs that best represent the feeling of happiness.

Ban nominated his Messenger of Peace Stevie Wonder’s song “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” to the playlist, adding that to him #HappySoundsLike a new climate deal and an agreed set of sustainable development goals, both on the agenda of world leaders for later this year.

Celebrity advocates including Charlize Theron, Lang Lang, Michael Douglas, Angelique Kidjo, along with internationally-acclaimed artists such as James Blunt, Idris Elba, David Guetta, John Legend, Cody Simpson and Pharrell Williams, will also contribute to create the world’s happiest playlist, which will be launched today.

“Let us give thanks for what makes us happy,” Ban stated. “And let us dedicate our efforts to filling our world with happiness.”

2016 Human Wrongs Watch 

One Comment to “International Day of Happiness”

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