Speaking in September 1999 at the Conference of the International Council of Social Welfare, Giampiero Alhadeff, President of the Platform of European Social NGOs, declared: "development, social, environmental and human rights NGOs must make alliances with trade unions and politicians to make sure that the EU has an enforceable Bill of Rights which brings together civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights. NGOs must also unite to demand that the EU establish a legal framework for the civil dialogue between us and the institutions of the EU". He then recalled that "NGOs represent hundreds of thousands of group across the EU. The Council of the Union must recognise our role and make legal provision for our involvement in important debates like that on the Bill of Rights".
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.