WGS 2018: UAE’s Minister of Happiness Urges Governments to Move from Ideas to Policies
Government policy and societal well-being are intertwined, the UAE’s Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing said at the opening session of the Global Dialogue for Happiness that got underway in Dubai today ahead of the sixth edition of the World Government Summit (WGS 2018).
In her session entitled ‘The Global Happiness Outlook’, Her Excellency Al Roumi said: "Many dialogues are about managing challenges, but ours is about embracing opportunity - the opportunity to build a happier society. We are here to move from great dreams to great ideas. We are here to move from great ideas to great policies and we are here to move from great policies to achieving impact in every home, workplace and community.”
Speaking on the vision the UAE was founded upon, Her Excellency Ohood Al Roumi, who is also Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future and Vice-Chair of the World Government Summit, reflected on a newspaper article dated three weeks prior to the establishment of the federation in 1971.
The article included an image of the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, with a headline that read, “My wealth is the happiness of my people”.
The responsibility of every government today should be to boost the happiness and well-being of their people, Her Excellency said, through effectively tackling challenges including poverty, loneliness, poor health, malnutrition and the lack of opportunity.
“But we do not always make that link between policy and well-being explicit,” she noted.
In her speech, Her Excellency Al Roumi announced the first Global Happiness Policy Report, which sets out policies needed to make a genuine difference in the well-being of humanity.
The report highlights global best practices and inspiring experiences of happiness and well-being, celebrating the best government achievements in this arena.
“My dream is that one day we can look back and see this as the moment when we started to build a world not focused only on the material aspects of growth, but on people’s happiness and well-being,” added Her Excellency Al Roumi.
The Global Dialogue for Happiness serves as a curtain raiser to the World Government Summit 2018.
The platform has happiness experts, government officials and representatives of international organizations discussing the science of happiness and examining ways to help governments adopt happiness policies to better the lives of their citizens.
The event features workshops and sessions covering various aspects of well-being and happiness in society. The outcomes of these workshops and sessions will be compiled in a manual that will help governments raise the level of happiness across nations.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the World Government Summit 2018 runs from February 11 to 13 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.
The landmark event convenes more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of state and governments, as well as top-tier representatives of 16 international organizations.
Hosting more than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions, WGS 2018 features 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 specialized global reports spanning key sectors and topics of the summit are being launched during the event.
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