It is difficult to get agreement on international binding standards capable of moving society towards sustainability. Governments are increasingly unable to influence corporate behaviour at the national level. In this situation, multilateral codes may provide an interim measure to provide an interim measure to provoke the use of efficient mechanisms to implement what should later become binding standards.
The multilateral governmental process, although the preferred solution, is politically incapable of setting standards which are both sufficiently high and far-reaching to achieve sustainability. An interim, second-rate solution might be multilateral governmental non-binding codes of conduct, but which progressively become legally-binding regulatory instruments. However, opting for non-binding measures must continue to be regarded as a second-rate choice, because victims of environmental and social crimes can seek little comfort in 'non-binding agreements', whether they be broken or fulfilled in some vague way. But the interim benefit is that high targets can be set in a non-binding and non-threatening environment, and through corporate innovation and the creativity of other societal groups, solutions can be found to meet the targets.
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.