Egypt Planning Minister in Dubai for the 1st global happiness policy report release

Egyptian Minister of Planning Hala al-Saeed has witnessed Saturday the launch of the first Global Happiness Policy Report at a pre-World Government Summit (WGS) session heard in Dubai.

The report was launched during the Global Dialogue for Happiness Forum, took place. The highlights will be discussed on Sunday evening at World Government Summit.

“All religions and moral and ethical systems have called for applying the standards of happiness and living for everyone.” Saeed said.

In the UAE, the government’s focus is, above all, on residents’ well-being, said Uhoud Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Quality of Life.

She quoted late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s first president, who had said “my wealth is the happiness of my people” weeks before the formation of the UAE in 1971.

Happiness was not an “idealistic or theoretical” goal, but a “tangible and practical” pillar of UAE government policy and practice, Roumi added.

“Sometimes the relationship isn’t clear between policies and happiness”, Roumi said pointing out the UAE had last October launched the Happiness Policy Manual for government establishments to prioritise people’s happiness.

The manual provides a systematic and practical explanation of happiness, and details tools to quantify and evaluate it. It seeks to incorporate happiness into all stages of policy-making; formulation, assessment, and implementation.

However, in many other places in the world “things are not going well”, according to a panel session during the forum on The Global Policy Happiness Report.

For instance, in America, “wealth is up, happiness is down”, said Jeffrey Sachs, leading economist, university professor and director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University.

“It’s dramatic in the United States. We have a crisis of mental illness, opioid addiction. People are rich but they are not happy. So studying why that is, and what to do about it, is serious business. And I think this report, and the reports that will follow will really help governments to get this done,” Sachs said.

Hosting more than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions, the World Government Summit features this year five distinct forums that examine the challenges of vital sectors for the future with a view to finding the best resolutions for the greater global good. Furthermore, over 20 specialised global reports spanning key sectors and topics of the summit are being launched during the event.