International Day of Happiness: Let’s take action for a Happier World
The United Nations must be seriously unashamed not to have noticed that this year International day of happiness should have been postponed until further notice. What happiness are we celebrating in the world where the Conflict, Displacement, Diseases, Hunger, Disasters and Refugee Crisis have continued to reach record levels under the gleeful watch of the UN. “The happiness of any society begins with the well-being of the families that live in it.” –Kofi Annan. A lot of families around the world are not happy.
More than 4 million Syrians have fled their country escaping a brutal civil war. 8.2 million Iraqis (nearly 25 percent of the country’s population) require some form of humanitarian assistance. The number of Nigerians displaced from their homes has quadrupled since 2014 which is more than 2.2 million people. The number of people in Yemen who need humanitarian aid has doubled to 20 million as airstrikes and embargoes have left people without access to vital services.
Thousands of Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic have fled the longstanding deadly persecution, boarding dangerous boats operated by smugglers who often abandon them, leaving thousands stranded for days without food or water. One in three Libyans are in need of humanitarian assistance, rebel groups are fighting each other for political control and power over the country’s valuable oil reserves. The armed conflict and political instability have affected more than 3 million people across Libya, restricting access to critical services.
The fallout from President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial third term has plunged Burundi into a spiral of political violence and widespread human rights abuses which have made nearly 413,739 Burundians fled the country. More than half are children under the age of 17.
An estimated 2 million people have been forced to flee their homes in South Sudan. More than 1.2 are either Refugees or asylum-seekers while 40% of the population of South Sudan, 4.9 million people, need food urgently. Humanitarian agencies responding to the crisis say 6.4 million people need humanitarian assistance and 3.9 million are facing severe food shortages. At least 250,000 children are severely malnourished.
The sectarian conflict in the Central African Republic has forced more than 900,000 people to flee their homes. An estimated 461,000 citizens of the country, mostly Muslims, are refugees in neighbouring countries; 421,700 more are internally displaced. Somalia’s long-running armed conflict continues to leave civilians dead, wounded, and displaced in large numbers.
Israel continues to innovate diverse ways (tank fire, rockets, or cluster or phosphorus bombs) to kill Palestinian civilians and injure or cripple them, including tens of thousands of women and children.
20 March the International Day of Happiness recognising the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.
The United Nations invites the Member States, international and regional organisations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organisations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities and this me accepting UN invite.
The crisis around the world are too numerous to mention all of the issues in this article but it suffices to say that there is no part of the world that are not feeling the humanitarian crisis in one or the other.
The United Nations must do more to create happiness for people around the world. There is a profound shift in attitudes all over the world. People and the Government are now recognising that ‘progress’ should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing the economy and the GDP.
Happiness which has been declared as a “fundamental human goal” can only be achieved through “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples across the #HappyPlanet.
“This International Day of Happiness is more than just a fun celebration, it also remind us all that the world is a better place when we connect with and care about the people around us” Dr Mark Williamson (March 2015)
“The World Happiness Report continues to draw global attention around the need to create sound policy for what matters most to people – their well-being. This report gives evidence that happiness is a result of creating strong social foundations. It’s time to build social trust and healthy lives, not guns or walls. Let’s hold our leaders to this fact” Jeffrey Sachs