Implementing major international research programmes
Designing international scientific observation programmes Coordinating international scientific surveys Organizing international research
The strategy followed so far in designing and implementing major international research and observation programmes has proved to be sound in principle and feasible in practice. This strategy is based on two principles: The programmes are based upon collaboration between the relevant United Nations bodies and one or more international scientific NGOs. Scientific quality and objectivity as well as policy making relevance is ensured in this way. Scientists from the participating countries participate in designing the international coordinating framework or research agenda, in interaction with a high-level international scientific steering committee. The programme framework developed this way is then integrated into their respective national research and observation activity.
Significant progress has been made during the first few years in integrating environmental science in major fields of science like agriculture and health [etc]. An example is the integration of a sustainable agriculture component into agricultural research as well as within the work of the international research centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), co-sponsored by the World Bank, FAO and UNDP.
The integration of natural sciences and socio-economic research has begun at national, regional and international levels. Yet progress appears to be slower than anticipated. A problem shared by both developing and industrialized countries in this regard, is that most current training programmes and institutional structures are sectoral and disciplinary and do not address the complex interactions between people, natural resources, technology, environment and development. In this connection, it is particularly urgent to provide support for innovative interdisciplinary capacity building activities.
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.