UNITED NATIONS, March 20 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an inclusive and sustainable human development that will bring happiness for people around the world, especially those who lack basic material well-being.
"The pursuit of happiness lies at the core of human endeavors. People around the world aspire to lead happy and fulfilling lives free from fear and want, and in harmony with nature," Ban said in his message for marking the first ever International Day of Happiness that falls on Wednesday.
"Yet, basic material well-being is still elusive for far too many living in extreme poverty," the UN chief noted. "For many more, recurring socio-economic crisis, violence and crime, environmental degradation and increasing threats of climate change are an ever-present threat."
In July last year, the General Assembly proclaimed March 20 the International Day of Happiness, recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in people's lives around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.
"I am encouraged by the efforts of some governments to design policies based on comprehensive well-being indicators. I encourage others to follow suit," Ban said. "On this first International Day of Happiness, let us reinforce our commitment to inclusive and sustainable human development and renew our pledge to help others. "
"When we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched. Compassion promotes happiness and will help build the future we want," he added.