In 1999, more than 1,000 organizations from 87 countries signed a statement opposing the Millennium Round of the world trade negotiations and further trade liberalization on the grounds that the World Trade Organization (WTO) has contributed to the concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich few, increasing poverty for the majority of the world's population and unsustainable patterns of production and consumption.
The global economy is too important to leave to central bankers and financiers. Most of the world's people live and work in countries that are interdependent in the global economy, but these people are excluded from decision-making.
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.