Lack of international legal provision for nongovernmental organizations
NGOs and INGOs have no legal status within the framework of international law. They are therefore not recognized as having any international 'existence' in a legal sense, with the consequence that any governmental or scholarly attention which depends on such recognition is absent. The absence of such legislation ensures the INGOs are unprotected (as 'outlaws') and do not operate within anything but a self-imposed code of responsibilities. Their activities are not aided by facilitative arrangements, as is the case with the international activities of commercial enterprises. The absence of such legislation deprives national governments of any stimulus to generate national legislation to accommodate INGOs based in a particular country. Since they are not recognized internationally, some countries view with great suspicion the participation of their nationals or national groups as members of such bodies. There is also suspicion concerning the (field-level) programmes of such INGOs in a particular country, which may be construed as interference in internal affairs or as a cover for politically subversive activity.
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.