Acknowledging cultural values Respecting key values of a culture
All cultures have their own sets of values that make them unique. Although values vary among individuals and groups within one culture, they are quite uniform if compared with a set of values of another culture. For example, literacy was not at all important in the traditional Gypsy culture and it is of little importance for Roma today. Gypsies could imagine life without having to be able to read and write. Besides, it protects them from the invasive influence of the gadjikane culture. For the non-Roma, however, literacy is one of the basic prerequisites for playing a part in their contemporary world. If questioned within these cultures separately, it is possible to say whether literacy has (high) or hasn't (has low) value. That is impossible when comparing the two cultures, since there are different values ascribed to literacy; none of these two cultures can both value and not value it.
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.