The role and responsibility of nations based on the Rio Principles, as well as the role and responsibility of the main actors including Governments, the private sector and civil society, must be emphasized in addressing the environmental challenges of the twenty-first century. Governments are the primary agents in this process, whose actions are vital in implementing United Nations environment-related instruments since Stockholm, institutional capacity-building and strengthened international cooperation.
1. A greater commitment by the private sector should be pursued to engender a new culture of environmental accountability through the application of the polluter-pays principle, environmental performance indicators and reporting, and the establishment of a precautionary approach in investment and technology decisions. This approach must be linked to the development of cleaner and more resource efficient technologies for a life-cycle economy and efforts to facilitate the transfer of environmentally sound technologies.
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.