Governments can no longer take it for granted, as they might have done 20 years ago, that a major resource development company or transnational company will always stand behind a wholly-owned subsidiary which has been held liable for damages in an environmental catastrophe or large lawsuit. The financial consequences of such events as Bophal and the Exxon Valdez can have a very damaging impact on the balance sheet of even the largest and strongest corporations. With the increasing emphasis on environmental concerns, governments see the need for parent company guarantees and increasingly companies are declining to accept open-ended commitments which could, on a worst-case assumption, run into billions of dollars. There is a weakness in the present guidance for direct foreign investors in developing countries as to how governments can secure guarantees for project-specific companies or transnational subsidiaries.
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.