Unforgivable collective action Historical grudges Unforgotten past injustice Ethnic rancour over past events Obsession with past wrongs Historic injustice
Unforgiven past events are basic to discussion of many regional conflicts including the Middle East, Yugoslavia, ethnic conflicts in the former USSR, Northern Ireland, and the situation of formerly colonized peoples. In the case of Poland, 6 million civilians died in the last war, leaving a million orphans. Systematic efforts were made to destroy the Polish elite. In the USA it was estimated in 1994 that for every US$1 million spent on American Jewish education, perhaps US$10 to 20 million had been spent on Holocaust memorials.
The question of forgiveness is absolutely central to the future not only of Eastern Europe but of Western civilization. History is against forgiveness. Justice for past crimes is frequently sought before any possibility of reconciliation can be envisaged.
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.
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