The State is responsible for keeping society united and dominating trends towards dispersal, and in particular for preventing the existence of situations of exclusion. Concentration of income is one of the most disruptive and divisive aspects in a society. The role of the State is fundamental in the development of policies to curb the tendency towards inequitable income distribution as far as possible. The argument most often heard in international fora is that there are no possible measures or alternative systems in the face the process of globalization now under way. The responsibility of States is delimited, signalling that they "can't do anything else". It is for this reason that a critique from the standpoint of economic, social and cultural history is pertinent in the present situation: the responsibility of States is inescapable where there are violations of fundamental rights, and exclusion is the most fundamental violation of all.
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.