On 26 June 1998 the international community observed the first United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture channels humanitarian assistance to an increasing number of organizations that help victims of torture every year. Thanks to a substantial increase in the contributions received from Governments, the Fund will disburse more than $4 million in 1998-1999 for medical, psychological, social, financial and legal assistance to about 100 organizations that assist some 60,000 victims of torture worldwide.
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.