Ecumenical texts remain typically western documents, rooted in the old cultural traditions of Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism of the European continent. They present a rather stale, anachronistic, lopsided and introverted theological charter of unity of the western hemisphere. Their language, style and reasoning are based on traditional theological argumentation, hardly understandable to any non-European Christians with minimal catechetical instruction. Christianity in the First World has still to demonstrate that it is open to and can learn from missionary and independent churches which differently interpret the being and nature of the Church according to their own cultural heritage and experience.
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.