The amount and direction of change in this period of history is putting tremendous strain on the family and its members. So much so that the creative role of the family in society and in caring for its members is refused by even those most involved in family life. The family is the source of everyone's relationship to society. Even those institutionalized at birth are increasingly raised in "family substitute" situations. The family is the place where care for the next generation largely takes place. These and the other functions of family life is treated as though it were optional. As a result life styles within the family are reduced, economic considerations often controls decision making, and youth are unprepared to function effectively in society.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.