In contrast to the evasion of issues, which denies their significance and seeks to prevent recognition of them, issue avoidance uses various acceptable procedural devices and loopholes in order to avoid having to deal with problems. Such devices may include postponement of consideration to a later date, requests for more information or for the opinion of qualified experts, and claims that the matter is the responsibility of some other body. Use of such loopholes may not be perceived as strictly ethical, but can be easily justified on grounds of precedence and pragmatism. It constitutes tolerable behaviour which does not easily serve as an extended focus of public criticism.
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.