The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Decision of Parliament and the Council establishing 2001 as European Year of Languages. This initiative, which the Commission proposes to provide with a budget of EUR 8 million, will consist of a series of information campaigns and the cofinancing of local, regional, national and transnational projects. This campaign, which will target the general public, will be coordinated with the Council of Europe initiative, this institution having already declared 2001 to be European Year of Languages. "The ability to speak one or more foreign languages opens up new opportunities for Europeans", said Ms Viviane Reding, Member of the Commission with special responsibility for Education and Culture, adding that Europe "will always have great linguistic wealth and the European Year of Languages in 2001 will be part of this diversity".
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.