Intergovernmental disputes Disagreement among states concerning priorities Incompatible national priorities Divisive international policies Policy disputes among nations Lack of common international policy International policy gridlock Political differences between countries International legal disputes Absence of international policy consensus
There is no international consensus on human priorities, and a constant struggle for time, money, human, technical and material resources diverts a great amount of energy into political and ideological conflict. Local priorities obscure national priorities, and national priorities obscure international ones. The divisive forces in world society are endless. Although some progress is being made, international efforts to secure agreements are pursued on a piecemeal basis. The development of world agendas may be said to have begun in recent years, with the focusing on anywhere from two dozen to over a hundred key problems, but it is impossible to find world agreement as to which have more claim to immediate attention than others and the means to deal with them.
The response of the international community to the conflict in Yugoslavia is a classic example of failure to reach agreement.
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.