The Talloires Declaration of October 1990, by the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future, was a significant forerunner to the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The declaration of the latter, endorsed by governments of most of the world's nation states, was the most prominent among the many documents that highlight the impending crisis. The Rio summit was followed by several other events which include: the Global Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, Barbados, 1994; the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 1994; the World Summit on Social Development, Copenhagen, 1995; the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995; the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements, Habitat II, Istanbul, 1996; and other non-UN forums. All these, and many other events, have raised awareness and contributed to the concept of sustainable development.
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.