`Happiness` should be ninth MDG: Bhutan
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 14:34
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 disease.

"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 the summit.

"There is no global project more worthwhile," he said.

"Let us send a strong message of hope, let us keep the promise," he added.


First Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 14:34

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