`Happiness` should be ninth MDG: Bhutan
United Nations: Bhutan has asked world
leaders to adopt "Happiness" as the ninth Millennium
Development Goal at the UN summit on reaching the MDGs, in
order to put and end to the scourge of poverty, hunger and
"Let us grow forth from this summit to not only
rededicate to the eight goals to banish, disease and extreme
poverty," said Jigmi Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan while
addressing the UN summit on reaching the MDGs, "but also to
the new ninth voluntary goal, to build a world that can
sustain happiness for all its people, today and for
generations to come".
"All our achievements, including the emergence of Bhutan
as the youngest democracy has been the result of pursuing
happiness," he added.
Bhutan, which is famous for its "Gross Domestic
Happiness" indicator is also well on track for meeting the
eight other targets, Thinley said.
The eight goals include eradication of extreme poverty
and hunger, achieving universal primary, promoting gender
equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health,
combating HIV/AIDS, and ensuring environmental sustainability.
At the same time, Thinley pointed out that endless
pursuit of material growth with limited natural resources was
unsustainable and dangerous.
"One cannot imagine, even as China and India aspire to
compete in consumption with the USA, what would become of
earth if every global citizen acquired the same voracious
appetite," he said.
Advocating for "happiness" as the ninth goal, Thinley
asserted out that it was the sum total of all the other goals.
"Its relevance goes beyond the poor and developing member
states to bind all of humanity, rich and poor, to a timeless
common vision," he said.
"It will be in the conscious pursuit of happiness that
the best in the nature of human race will flourish".
Meanwhile, several Head of States made statements
regarding the progress and failures concerning these goals
including France, Israel and Bangladesh.
"We are here because ten years ago, meeting here at the
highest level, the international community promised to spare
no effort to free the entire human race from want,"
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday while kicking off
"There is no global project more worthwhile," he said.
"Let us send a strong message of hope, let us keep the
promise," he added.
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