In 1999, the European Union decided to draw up a common policy. The aim was to prevent an influx of refugees by helping the countries they come from to fight poverty, and establish or maintain peace and democracy. The EU Council had already quickly adopted action plans for certain countries.
There is a simple way of distinguishing the politically needy from the financially greedy: only accept refugees from countries that are equally rich or richer. There would then be no need to suspect their motive was one of economic gain and the need for cross-examination, personal questioning, delays and insecurity of status would be immediately removed. Under this proposal, neither Japan, North America nor Western Europe would be likely to take many refugees. For this proposal not to offend against "lifeboat ethics" -- each lifeboat, in this case a nation, taking on board its share of misery from the global ocean of oppression and over-population -- then at the very least the rich countries would have to finance the costs involved for those countries or voluntary organizations that would be caring for the political refugees.
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.