NEW YORK, 25th March, 2017 (WAM) — Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, recently participated in an interactive panel discussion on “Public Policies for Happiness”, co-organised at the United Nations headquarters by the permanent missions of the UAE, Australia, Bhutan, Denmark, Ecuador, Rwanda, Slovenia and Thailand, to mark the International Day of Happiness 2017.

She highlighted the UAE’s efforts, government policies and programmes that aim to promote happiness and positive values.

These include the National Happiness and Positivity Programme, which reflects an ambitious strategy to promote happiness in all government departments and workplaces, with plans to include the private sector and establish happiness as a lifestyle, she added.

The World Happiness Council, recently launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, serves as a global platform for supporting governments that seek to achieve happiness for their citizens, she said.

Promoting happiness needs to be institutionalised and developed from a government perspective, Al Roumi further said.

The panel discussion sought to focus on outstanding experiences of various states in promoting happiness and positivity, best practices and global lessons that should be used in relevant efforts, noted Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations.

The efforts made to achieve happiness are facing challenges, including the continued suffering of underprivileged and fragile segments, said the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed.

Sustainable happiness is threatened by environmental deterioration, she added.