In July 2012, the United Nations passed a resolution that establishes March 20 as International Day of Happiness.
UN General Assembly resolution 66/281 encourages the international community to recognize "the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives."
The UN Foundation and Grammy Award-winning singer Pharrell Williams teamed up to celebrate International Day of Happiness 2014. The duo has encouraged the public to submit YouTube videos featuring people dancing to Williams' "Happy" song.
Below is one such video highlighted by the UN Foundation as a demonstration of the power of happiness following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines:
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon explained in 2012 the importance of collective well-being to sustainable development, and suggested that a new measurement tool other than Gross National Product be used to determine a country's economic health.
"GNP has long been the yardstick by which economies and politicians have been measured. Yet it fails to take into account the social and environmental costs of so-called progress. We need a new economic paradigm that recognizes the parity between the three pillars of sustainable development. Social, economic and environmental well-being are indivisible. Together they define gross global happiness...
"Connecting the dots between these issues — between water, food and energy security, climate change, urbanization, poverty, inequality and the empowerment of the world’s women — lies at the heart of sustainable development. But, it will take resolute will from all sectors of society. Sustainable development recognizes that our economic, social and environmental objectives are not competing goals that must be traded off against each other, but are interconnected objectives that are most effectively pursued together in a holistic manner."