Top UN officials on Thursday urged the international community to take concrete action to end conflict and poverty and ensure the happiness and well- being of all.
"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," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for the second International Day of Happiness, which falls on March 20.
While acknowledging that happiness may have different meanings for different people, the UN chief said that all could agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of human beings live.
"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," he said
"Now is the time to convert this promise into concrete international and national action to eradicate poverty, promote social inclusion and intercultural harmony, ensure decent livelihoods, protect the environment and build institutions for good governance. These are the foundations for human happiness and well-being," Ban added.
In July 2012, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) 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.
In that spirit, current UNGA President John Ashe said the Day celebrates unity, calling on the international community to support the three pillars of sustainable development -- social, economic and environmental.
As the UN family sets out to identify the goals for an inclusive post-2015 development agenda with the eradication of poverty as its overarching objective, Ashe invited member states, international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to raise public awareness of the aspirations of human beings around the world.
"Happiness is a fundamental human goal, and improving public policies in countries that can contribute thereto is essential to promoting equitable societies for all," Ashe said.