The United Nations today appointed Red, the leader of the “Angry Birds” mobile game characters, as an envoy to inspire climate action toward a sustainable and happier future for all.
Red's appointment, as Honorary Ambassador for Green, is part of a UN campaign launched today in partnership with the globally renowned characters to make a direct link between tackling climate change and people's happiness and well-being on the occasion of the International Day of Happiness to be observed on Sunday, 20 March.
“The Angry Birds have entertained millions of people around the world – and now they are part of making the world a better place,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a launch event at UN Headquarters in New York.
“We are proud to give Red a reason to go Green,” he said. “There is no better way to mark the International Day of Happiness than to have our animated ambassador raise awareness about the importance of addressing climate change to create a safer, more sustainable and happier future for all.”
The campaign, in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Foundation, asks the general public across the world to make the Angry Birds happy by taking actions on climate change and sharing their photos and commitments on social media platforms using the common hashtag #AngryBirdsHappyPlanet.
By recycling, taking public transportation and conserving water, for example, individuals can share tips on how they can live sustainably and happily in their everyday lives, he said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon names The Angry Bird's 'Red' Honourary Ambassador for Green on the International Day of Happiness. Credit: United Nations
As part of his ambassadorial duties, Red will go on a “virtual world tour” starting on 21 March, highlighting various ways to take climate action. The tour will take him to Paris, where countries adopted an historic agreement to address climate change in December, and will end in New York, where world leaders will sign the Paris Agreement at UN Headquarters on 22 April.
During the launch event, the voice actors from the upcoming Angry Bird movie, Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, and Maya Rudolph, and producers John Cohen and Catherine Winder gave hundreds of students gathered in the iconic UN General Assembly Hall a sneak preview of the #AngryBirdsHappyPlanet campaign materials, including public service announcements created to support the campaign. They also asked the young audience for their support to the campaign by doing their part to make a difference on climate change.
In a message to mark this year's Happiness Day, Mr. Ban said: “At this time of grave injustices, devastating wars, mass displacement, grinding poverty and other man-made causes of suffering,” the Day is a global chance to assert that “peace, well-being and joy deserve primacy.”
“It is about more than individual contentment; it is an affirmation that we have a collective responsibility to humanity,” he added.
By advancing progress towards the interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the UN General Assembly last September, “we can help spread happiness and secure peace,” he stressed.
“The best way to celebrate this International Day of Happiness is by taking action to alleviate suffering,” he urged.
Since 2013, the UN has annually observed the Day on 20 March as a way to recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people worldwide. This year's focus is on the relationship between having a healthy planet and happiness.