The interior structures of 20th century families no longer enable the family to perform its basic social role. They have been reduced to the point the family unit has become largely disfunctional. The forms of sustenance have been reduced to physical gratification. The social role of the family in general or a specific family is not self-consciously considered. Members of families are not enabled to deal with the meaning of life in relation to the family. Structures relating the family to its history or its heritage do not exist. The decision making forms are arbitrary and lack effective ways of holding members responsible for their acts. The structures that do exist tend to engender self-centred attitudes and behaviour of individual members and a reduced sense of responsibility toward the larger community and 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.