UN Secretary-General Calls for “Gross Global Happiness” as a Measure of Sustainable Development
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that Gross National Product ignores the social and environmental costs of progress, and called for a new economic paradigm that reflects the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, which together “define gross global happiness.”

2 April 2012: In a high-level meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm,” organized by the Government of Bhutan, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the importance of integrating human happiness into a new framework for sustainable development.

The high-level meeting met at UN Headquarters in New York. In his remarks, Ban commended Bhutan for recognizing “the supremacy of national happiness over national income,” noting that the country had adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness (GNH) over Gross National Product (GNP). Noting that GNP ignores the social and environmental costs of progress, he urged for a new economic paradigm that reflects the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, which together “define gross global happiness.” Ban called for an outcome on sustainable development at the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) that recognizes happiness and well-being as “fundamental goals in themselves.” [UN Secretary-General’s Statement]

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