Mobile communications have become increasingly important both for voice telephony and as a means of accessing the Internet. The European standard for mobile, GSM, has become a leading world standard. The number of subscribers in Europe is increasing rapidly and is expected to reach 200 million by the end of this year. Mobile subscriptions in Europe have now surpassed those of the USA. Europe also has the advantage of having a digital system which has the potential to become a major platforms for Internet access. This is demonstrated by progress in GSM technology, such as GPRS and EDGE, the roll out of the 3rd generation of mobile communications and various wireless local loop technologies.
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.