Values are the foundation of commitment and determine an individual's or collective's world view. They give direction, purpose and meaning to life. The destiny of both individuals and society is shaped and created with the values by which they live. Values chosen, or adopted by inheritance, assign worth or importance to those aspects of life to which they relate. There may be instances where a value choice is a matter of personal opinion, but a number of values are fundamental to the well-being of humanity as a whole. Such values transcend the particularities of humanity's richly diverse cultural, philosophical and social heritage and form the bedrock on which to build international cooperation. Such values are universal not just in their application to all of humanity but also in their application to all fields of human activity.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
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.