Transforming colonies into countries Eliminating colonialism
Many nations around the world were colonies of mainly European countries until recently, when they gained their independence by the process of decolonization which ultimately hands over and grants sovereignty to the former colony. The transitional period may be marked by turmoil and violence, warfare or peace, and often the newly independent countries face difficult post-colonial adjustment problems and may face "neocolonialism" or being interfered with by their former colonial power.
Virtually all former colonies are now independent countries. The UN Trusteeship Council has been central in overseeing the transformation of colonies into countries.
Independence movements reach maturity often after wars between empires and secondarily after independence efforts in neighbouring lands (via a 'demonstration effect.'). For example, independence for the United States and India had far-reaching observation effects, emboldening people elsewhere to act once they could point to real examples of political change. In the 20th century, defenders of overseas empires were placed ideologically and morally on the defensive. As each new state entered the United Nations, the organization became a forum for anti-colonial lobbying. It hastened the Dutch departure from Indonesia, for example.
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.