SINDOS, Greece, Aug. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Nations International Day of Happiness Founder Jayme Illien is visiting a Swiss Cross refugee camp in Sindos, Greece where he'll meet 1200 refugees who fled devastating and catastrophic, still ongoing wars in Iraq and Syria.
According to the United Nations, over 10 million people have been displaced across the Middle East in the largest mass migration of refugees since World War 2. The rise of ISIS and conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and around the world has led many to flee the destruction in their home country for Western Europe through Italy, Greece and Turkey.
American, European, Middle Eastern and African capitals, and cities around the world have been victim to numerous terrorist attacks claiming the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians as global security has deteriorated since the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003. In May and July of 2016 the world witnessed two of the deadliest explosions kill an estimated 500 Iraqi civilians in and around Baghdad.
In a statement issued from the Swiss Cross Frakapor refugee camp in Sindos, Greece, CEO and Chairman of Illien Global Public Benefit Corporation said: "It's an honor, a privilege, and an inspiration to see the smiles, laughter, and spirit of joy, resilience, and courage on the faces of my new friends and family from Syria and Iraq who have fled catastrophic and devastating wars, violence, and destruction in their home country.
"Happiness is a human right and fundamental human goal. I want to express my admiration and appreciation to Michael Raber's Swiss Cross and UNHCR whose initiative and leadership enabled those who fled war and arrived on the shores of Greece, to have a chance to recover, to rebuild, to live, to thrive, and to be happy again."
In 2011, Jayme Illien launched a campaign successfully lobbying all 193-member states of the United Nations and UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon to adopt UN resolution 66/281. The new UN resolution was adopted by consensus of all 193 member states in 2012, establishing the International Day of Happiness, now celebrated worldwide every March 20, and recognizing happiness as a fundamental human right and goal for all human beings, and a solution to the complex and interconnected challenges confronting all of humanity.
Just three weeks ago, the United Nations adviser and happiness day founder was in Ankara, Turkey, when one third of the Turkish Military, the 2nd largest in NATO, launched a coup d'état attempt to overthrow democratically elected President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. CNN and the US Department of Defense reported 35 F-16s, 37 attack helicopters, 250 tanks and APCs, 3 navy ships, and 4000 weapons in a military battle one third of the generals in Turkey, and the other two thirds.
Speaking to press in Athens where he arrived after narrowly escaping via Istanbul, Jayme said, "I am just grateful to be alive and well, and that more innocent people weren't killed. Hiding under a table with big guns and explosions outside and above, from planes, helicopters, and tanks shooting everywhere, and not knowing whether you're going to make it or not, is something no human being should experience."
"Let us take this opportunity to remember that there are innocent people in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Yemen, and around the world living in constant fear, as I was for just a night, as war is a part of their everyday reality. Let us renew our commitment and resolve to promote and advance a world of sustainable global peace and security, freedom, and happiness for all."
Contact: Erica Stone
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SOURCE United Nations International Day of Happiness