The United Arab Emirates (UAE) created a new “minister of state for happiness” position in the government yesterday. The basic responsibilities for this position include the harmonisation of all state plans, programs and policies to achieve happiness in society within the framework of structural changes in the federal government announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is Vice-President of the UAE, its Prime Minister and the Ruler of Dubai.
The new structure of the government includes a reduction in the number of ministries and the assignment of most government services to the private sector. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said that “we will have a road map for outsourcing most government services to the private sector and the new government will have fewer ministries and a larger number of ministers to deal with national and strategic issues”.
The announcement of the government’s new structure came on the side lines of the World Government Summit’s launch in Dubai where the US President Barack Obama gave a speech in which he pointed out that those countries that listen to their peoples are able to face the challenges of the future at a constant and stable pace. He added that some countries in the region have not achieved this as they ignored the demands of their people. Obama continued by saying that “We can exchange knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences in order to develop our governments according to the needs of citizens” and that “Our Constitution begins with those three simple words, “We the people” and this requires us to take an interest in investing in people”.
The President of the World Bank Group Dr Jim Yong Kim announced that a billion people who lived below the poverty line have been lifted out of poverty over the past year, including 700,000 people who had an average income of less than two dollars.