Exploitation of confusion between public and government interest
Exploitation of national security claims Abusive definition of national interest Misuse of national interest to avoid political embarrassment
Government ministers, as representatives of political parties, are frequently confronted with situations where it is prudent to claim that the national interest precludes disclosure of certain information. In such situations it is often difficult to discern the extent to which such non-disclosure is primarily to avoid political embarrassment, thus weakening their position in relation to any opposition, and only secondarily to avoid placing the country at a disadvantage in relation to other countries. It is clearly to the advantage of unscrupulous government ministers to use national security and national interest arguments wherever possible. Even when successfully challenged it is always possible to claim that non-disclosure and the avoidance of political scandal facilitate acquisition of international trade and maintenance of the value of the national currency, whether or not the amounts are of marginal significance.
The cover-up surrounding major presidential scandals in the USA, such as Watergate, Irangate and Whitewater, have all documented in detail the challenges faced in this area. The BBCI scandal drew attention to the way in which the presidency of the USA, acting in the name of national security, gave its secret services a free-wheeling licence to operate with scant regard for law and morality. In the UK similar difficulties have been documented in relation to the Matrix Churchill affair (concerning the supply of arms-producing machinery to Iran) documented by the Scott Inquiry in 1993, and the aid-for-trade arrangements associated with the Pergau dam publicized in 1994.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
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.