Increasing diversification in subsistence economies
The primary objective of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF) was the accelerated transformation, integration, diversification and growth of African economies, the reduction of vulnerability to external shocks, enhanced self-reliance and dynamism, and internalization of the process of development. At the 1996 mid-term review of the implementation of UN-NADAF, the General Assembly recognized the advances made by many African countries in economic reform and adjustment, as well as the intensification of the democratization process and the strengthening of civil society. Notwithstanding these efforts, Africa's economic and social problems remain acute. While various initiatives are being undertaken in favour of Africa, many of the commitments made in the context of UN-NADAF by the international community remain to be completed. These commitments concern the reduction of African debt, adequate resource flows, provision of greater market access and assistance in diversification and capacity-building.
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.
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