Sequestration of human remains for research Prevention of appropriate burial Inappropriate conservation of human skeletal remains
The death of a person may occur under conditions which result in the body, or portions of it, not being returned to relatives for appropriate burial. Or burial grounds may be desecrated for scientific purposes, resulting in the removal of bones and other objects to distant scientific institutions. Death during military action may also result in bodies being dismembered or unretrievable causing considerable distress to relatives.
Appropriate burial of relatives and ancestors is of considerable importance to some cultures, especially where the spirits of the dead people are held to be associated with those remains. In 1991 the Smithsonian Institution in the USA returned remains of 31 members of an Indian tribe, following protest. The remains of some 2,000 other American Indians are still kept in its collections. The collections are ordered in such a way that it makes it difficult to return the remains to the correct tribe. In 1993 the return of the remains of 33 American soldiers killed in the Korean War constituted a significant conciliatory gesture in diplomatic relations between the USA and North Korea.
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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