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Celebrating Happiness: the significance of the UN's International Day of Happiness


Mr. Guterres (right) and Ms. Mohammed (centre) pose for a group photo with Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General.
Secretary-General António Guterres swears in Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed

March 20th marks the United Nations International Day of Happiness, a day dedicated to recognising the importance of happiness and well-being in all our lives. It's a day to celebrate the joy we experience, to connect with loved ones, and to reflect on the things that bring us contentment.



Two happy women - Photo by Ave Calvar

Here at Mildmay Mission Hospital, we understand the importance of well-being. We strive to create a supportive environment for both patients and staff, fostering a sense of community and hope. This International Day of Happiness, let's all take a moment to appreciate the simple joys in life and work towards a future where happiness is a reality for everyone.




But happiness is more than just a fleeting feeling. The UN General Assembly acknowledges this, recognising happiness as a fundamental human goal. It advocates for a global approach that prioritises happiness and well-being for all. This vision calls for "a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth." In simpler terms, it means creating a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.


So how do we achieve this? The UN emphasises the role of governments and international organisations in fostering happiness. This can be done by upholding human rights, ensuring environmental sustainability (as outlined in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals), and creating policies that promote social well-being. After all, research shows a strong link between effective governance, social order, and a nation's overall happiness.


The International Day of Happiness isn't just for governments and organisations, however. The UN invites everyone – individuals of all ages, schools, businesses – to join the celebration! Whether it's spending time with loved ones, helping others in your community, or simply reflecting on the good things in your life, there are countless ways to participate.


 

Top image credit: Mr Guterres (right) and Ms Mohammed (centre) pose for a group photo with Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General.


Second image credit: Ave Calvar on Unsplash

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