Limited recognition of international nongovernmental organizations
For some intergovernmental agencies, the number of INGOs which are in some way engaged in activities relevant to their own programmes constitutes an administrative, or even political, problem. As such, efforts are to limit contact with them in order to simplify the already difficult tasks of operating the agency. Clearly this determines the attitude of IGO secretariat personnel and delegates, and the content of the policy recommendations and documents that they generate for national governments. It restricts the number of linkages between IGOs and INGOs, and prevents IGOs and governments from recognizing the potential of the INGO network and the manner in which its activities can be facilitated and the consequent benefits for governmental programmes. The inability of such agencies to recognize that INGOs are first and foremost a social phenomenon and only incidentally an administrative problem is also an indication of the inability of such agencies to comprehend the nature of the international community within which they attempt to function (for example, the inability of UNESCO to recognize the usefulness of social studies of national and international INGOs - after 30 years of consultative relationship with them through a designated administrative unit).
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.