If the universe were totally perfect there would be no need for change and nothing would develop. Conversely, the fact that change is inherent in this universe indicates that it is imperfect and must remain so - in fact, it can be inferred from the law of maximum entropy that the universe will in the long-term attain maximum disorder, even if in the short-term there are "pockets" of increasing order. There is thus no possibility for permanent improvement, and all effort for the development and amelioration of present conditions must be viewed as palliative. As Jesus said, the poor will be always with us. What is permanent is the desire in each individual for truth; if this is worked upon, the results must in the long-term be more effective than forever trying to stop up the holes in a sinking ship.
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.