The Right to Sustainable Societies belongs to all people, in all countries throughout the world, in the South and North, by women and men, by children and the elderly, of all races, ethnicities and religious beliefs, in industrialized and agricultural societies, as well as by indigenous peoples, migrants, immigrants and their descendants, and the future generations of all these groups.
All peoples have a right to live in dignity as members of sustainable communities within sustainable societies. This right also implies the responsibility of all peoples to actively participate in the work of building such a society. Such a right and responsibility implies the adoption and implementation by both government and business, as well as citizen organizations, of policies and programmes aimed at building, protecting and fostering communities and societies based on principles of social and environmental sustainability, justice and civic engagement. This also means enabling each person and every family in a healthy environment to achieve sustainable livelihoods. This means having access to resources needed to live: to suitable employment with livable wages and benefits, in adequate safety and health conditions; to services providing for basic needs -- including adequate shelter, sufficient food, clean water and health care. A further condition of developing sustainable communities and sustainable societies is to develop systems of sustainable production and consumption on the level of local economies as well as national and international economies. It is the responsibility of all governments, businesses and citizen organizations to recognize this right and do everything in their power to implement it.
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.