Inter-state disturbances of peace may occur from unilateral military and paramilitary initiatives, which include the use of regular or irregular national armed forces or threat of use of military mobilization, or the organization, support or encouragement of non-national armed forces or irregular armed groups or terrorists hostile to another state, whether nationals of that state or not, and wherever their headquarters and operational bases. Non-military unilateral offences include initiating or encouraging psychological warfare, propaganda, and other activities, wherever emanating, calculated to foment civil strife elsewhere. Breaches of international law that are offences against the peace and security of states, are: any unilateral actions in violation of the provisions and spirit of international treaties designed to ensure respect for national sovereignty and international justice; illegal annexation of territories; and coercive economic or political measures enacted or threatened in order to intervene in another state's domestic or foreign affairs by extorting the behaviour desired. Intra-state disturbances of human peace and security of concern to the entire world include genocide in any form; mass-murdering of groups, classes, or randomly selected victims; and any harm perpetrated as a policy against the citizenry in general, or any societal segments. These include physical and mental abuse, internment, torture, deprivation of food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and freedom of movement; enslavement; forced sterilizations, abortions or removal of children from the family; internal or external exile; and restrictions as to education and employment. The foregoing offences may be the culpability of governments and the authorities of which they are constituted. Guilt may also pertain to offences of private individuals acting at the instigation or with the toleration of authorities. Other offences against the peace and security of humanity include atmospheric and ocean testing of nuclear weapons; the development and testing of weapons of mass-destruction in general, and any other acts that affect the global environment.
Offences against the peace and security of humanity may be enacted or threatened multilaterally. In one case it may be by the alliance of two or more powers, overtly or covertly; in other case two or more states may disturb world security by independently aggressive actions, or two or more groupings of states may offend the peace. Other offences may be made intergovernmentally, involving common action through a military treaty organization, or through improper decisions made by the United Nations Organization in respect to military interventions or other actions such as sanctions.
Intergovernmental organizations may offend against the peace and security of humanity by perpetuating themselves even though they may be ineffective against the fundamental problems of population growth and increasing militarization in the world. Temporary UN peace-keeping forces may be created as a result of manipulation of the major powers, and forced upon a smaller state. Transnational corporations and cartels may offend against the peace and security of humanity by distorting world trade, by impoverishing or financially controlling small, developing countries, and by exploiting food, health and other consumer needs with overpriced, inferior, or dangerous goods.
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.