Large funds are under the custody of insurers and are invested to produce additional returns. Under competitive pressure this additional income may enable the insurer to charge lower rates than would be usual when based on pure underwriting experience or it may improve the insurer's overall profitability. The management of these funds is thus very important both to insurers and those insured, and may also play a significant role in the national economy. Appropriate regulations to channel these funds so as to target developmental areas of the economy may contribute to the overall economic development of the country. This issue has often been raised in connection with developing countries where investment money is often scarce and where funds held by insurers could be used for development purposes. However, it has been argued that imposition of strict investment rules may interfere with insurers' ability to maintain the necessary levels of liquidity and security in their investment portfolios. Such provisions may also deprive companies of investment possibilities yielding higher returns.
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.