In 1999, the European Union adopted the European civil protection action programme for the period 2000-2004. The two key themes of the programme were prevention and information. The aim was to anticipate and prevent disasters, on the one hand and, on the other, tell people of the risks they run and what they should do in the event of an accident. The programme also included activities in the medical field and the use of new technologies. With a budget of 7.5 million euro, it took over from the preceding 1998-1999 programme.
Disasters, whether natural or man-made, are best dealt with by joining forces. Even when they affect a single country, the knowledge, experience and resources of its neighbours can prove extremely useful.
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.