A selection of UN TV programmes, webcasts and video clips on issues in the news

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

International Day of Happiness 2014, 20 March

Join the Forum of discussions : 20 March is International Day of Happiness.

United Nations Secretary-General's Message for International Day of Happiness 2014  2014

The twin concepts of happiness and well-being increasingly feature in international discussions of sustainable development and the future we want. 
Many countries are going beyond the rhetoric of quality of life to incorporate practical measures to promote these concepts in their legislation and policy-making.  These good practices can inspire other countries so that measuring and accounting for broader well-being, and not simply national income, becomes a universal practice.
Happiness may have different meanings for different people.  But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live.
Happiness is neither a frivolity nor a luxury.  It is a deep-seated yearning shared by all members of the human family.  It should be denied to no-one and available to all.  This aspiration is implicit in the pledge of the United Nations Charter to promote peace, justice, human rights, social progress and improved standards of life.
Now is the time to convert this promise into concrete international and national action to eradicate poverty, promote social inclusion and inter-cultural harmony, ensure decent livelihoods, protect the environment and build institutions for good governance.  These are the foundations for human happiness and well-being.

Watch the Happy Planet Index

 Watch an introduction to the Happy Planet Index – the leading global measure of sustainable well-being – by its creator, Nic Marks.

How is the HPI calculated?

The HPI blends subjective and objective data to build a picture of progress within a country. The Index uses global data on
life expectancy, experienced well-being and Ecological Footprint to rank countries. It asks the question: “how much well-being is achieved per unit of resource consumption?”

Happy Planet Index ≈ 

Experienced well-being x Life expectancy
Ecological Footprint

Well-being : If you want to know how well someone’s life is going, your best bet is to ask them directly. In this year’s HPI, experienced well-being is assessed using a question called the ‘Ladder of Life’ from the Gallup World Poll. This asks respondents to imagine a ladder, where 0 represents the worst possible life and 10 the best possible life, and report the step of the ladder they feel they currently stand on.
Evidence indicates that this is an effective measure of overall well-being.

Life expectancy : Alongside experienced well-being, the HPI includes a universally important measure of health – life expectancy. We used life expectancy data from the 2011 UNDP Human Development

Ecological Footprint : A society that achieves high well-being now, but consumes so much that the same resources are not available for future generations can hardly be considered successful. The HPI uses the Ecological Footprint promoted by the environmental NGO WWF as a measure of resource consumption.
It is a per capita measure of the amount of land required to sustain a country’s consumption patterns, measured in terms of global hectares (g ha) which represent a hectare of land with average productive biocapacity

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is the leading global measure of sustainable well-being.
 The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index : Tracking and improving citizens’ well-being.

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