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Giornata Mondiale della Felicita’ 2019

Considerazioni introduttive pronunciate dall’Ambasciatrice Mariangela Zappia, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, alla presentazione del 7mo “World Happiness Report” in occasione della Giornata Mondiale della Felicita’ —

Dear Friends,

Thank you for being here today to celebrate the launch of this 7th World Happiness Report 2019 and the related Happiness and Well-being Policy Report. It is a great way for all of us to start our day reflecting on what happiness is about.

Seven years ago, we proclaimed the International Day of Happiness on March 20th. Since that Resolution, 7 years ago, the Global Happiness Report has become a benchmark and a very useful instrument to acknowledge – in the words of that Resolution – “the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspiration in the lives of human beings” to be pursued as a public policy objective.

The World Happiness Report represents also a true example of effective Partnership, being produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network led by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, edited by distinguished Social Sciences Professors, and supported by the Italian Ernesto Illy Foundation chaired by Andrea Illy. I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to all the partners for undertaking such meaningful and cutting-edge initiative.

The Happiness and well-being of people represent the ultimate objective for Governments and societies. Likewise, the 2030 Agenda represents the global call to action towards happiness and well-being for the people and the planet. As the Sustainable Development Goals show us, and as the report highlights, happiness and well-being require a balanced combination of human, social, economic, cultural, political, and environmental factors. “Happiness”, then, with only a slight exercise of imagination, could be considered as the product of the combination of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals!
In the 2030 Agenda Member States addressed this point more specifically when we committed to “develop broader measures of progress to complement gross domestic product”. In order to do so, we must make sure that our public policies properly reflect the integration of social, economic and environmental dimensions and therefore truly address human development and well-being of people.

Moving beyond GDP has become increasingly central both in measuring existing public policies and in designing new ones.

In that respect, Italy has shown to be fully committed to bring about this shift, which is both political and cultural. The “Italian Way” of living includes by definition not only the full enjoyment of rights and freedoms for all, but also the active promotion of balanced lifestyles based on value-based, positive social interactions, human enrichment through arts, culture, sport, healthy and sustainable nutrition and diets, in full harmony with the environment.

Moreover, in Italy we have already started measuring well-being in correlation with our national public policies. Italy has been the first country among the G7 and the EU to include in our Financial Planning twelve SDG-related “Equitable and Sustainable Well-Being Indicators”. These are now part of our economic policy-making cycle and represent one of the objectives of the Government’s economic and social policies.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me conclude with a quote from Gandhi. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.” I believe this is what Global Happiness Report is about. It is a call to all of us to act in a way that what we think, what we say and what we do are in harmony.

Thank you.