In contrast to the avoidance of issues, which does not deny their significance but merely ensures that they are not dealt with, the evasion of issues uses various devices to avoid recognition of the existence of the issues. In social systems this takes the form of the refusal to accept the validity of certain forms of information, to the point of ensuring that such information is suppressed. Typically such evasion needs to be disguised or covered up, because if known it can relatively easily become the focus of extended public criticism, especially in the media. It may well be criminal but tends to be considered highly unethical. In individuals evasion may also take the form of repression of memories.
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.