of the Union of International Associations (UIA)
- / -
Section of Report
of a Preliminary Investigation of the Possibility of Using Computer Data
Processing Methods (1968): a summary of the various parts of
this report, and details
of its contents (with links to the various
parts), are provided separately
The UIA is an organization whose original foundation in 1910 was very closely
related to the "birth of 20th century internationalism. The organizations
was founded in order to study the organizations and the mechanism surrounding
the organizations listed in the previous section. The current Constitution
is given as Exhibit
A brief history is
given as a note in Exhibit
17. More recent details are
discussed in the next section.
The aims of the organization, as laid down in the Constitution, are as follows.
UIA is an international non-governmental organizations for documentation, research
and service. It is non-profit making. Its objectives shall be:
- to promote the development of international cooperation with special emphasis
on international relations of a non-governmental character.
- to assemble information on non-governmental and governmental international
organizations, their meetings, their publications and their other activities.
- to make such information available to all interested persons and ensure
- to effect research and issue publications on the common problems
of international organizations.
- to facilitate mutual relations between the latter.
- to promote study and better understanding of international organizations
in schools and universities and by the general public.
- In fulfilling its objects the UIA purposes to contribute to the development
of international life and to efforts being made for peace."
The UIA is the only organization in the world so specialize in this field,
although many other organizations touch upon particular aspects of it.
The UIA is composed of:
- Active members. Individuals whose total number may not exceed
250, elected by UIA's General Assembly and constituting the same.
Only these members take part in the direction and management of
the organization. They are co-opted either at Assembly sessions
or by postal vote, on proposal by the Executive Council. The
Constitution provides that they should pay an annual subscription.
- Supporting or Corporate Members. Organizations,
foundations, commercial or industrial enterprises interested in the aims
of the UIA and wishing to support its work by paying a minimum of $ 100.
per annum. They receive periodical publications and are entitled
to make use of its services and facilities and to send an observer to its
- Associate Members. Individuals who wish to be kept informed
work of the UIA and to support it. The only financial obligation
is the annual purchase of a subscription to the UIA magazine.
Organizations. International organizations wishing
give moral support to the UIA and use its services may become corresponding
organizations provided they undertake to supply general in
formation on their activities and purchase an annual subscription to the
UIA magazine. The development in membership is indicated in Exhibit
18 (and 18a)for each of these categories. Membership is
discussed in detail in a later section.
UIA has its registered office in the Brussels area in a leased building comprising
7 offices and 9 storage areas. The organization currently has 10 full-time
and 3 part-time staff. Three of the full-time staff are Anglo-Saxon,
the others are Belgian.
The UIA has operating national secretariats in several countries. This
question is considered in a later section.
Documentation Information is collected on
all international governmental and nongovernmental
organizations. This includes details on their activities (meetings,
reports, membership, etc.). This information appears in a series of
regular and irregular publications.
- The main publication is the Yearbook
of International Organizations which is published every two years.
monthly magazine is produced which includes supplements on future international
meetings, the reports of these meetings, changes and additions to information
on international organizations. The magazine also includes items
of general interest to NGOs.
- A series of publications on the
techniques of organizing an international congress now includes 7
series of documents designed as an aid to the study of international relations
now includes 16 monographs.
- A new series of publications to cumulate
all bibliographical material arising from the reports of international
meetings is being published as a companion volume to the above Yearbook,
under the title Yearbook of International Congress Proceedings.
- Other publications
include directories of periodicals, special bibliographies, etc.
relationship between the publications is indicated in Exhibit
Research: The UIA conducts
surveys by questionnaire. Topics of interest to NGOs, that have been treated
in this way, include: legal status, pensions funds, organization of
meetings, international conventions, etc. Some of these are done with
grant aid, others are under contract, others are done without outside support.
Statistical surveys of general characteristics of international meetings
and organizations are also prepared and published on an irregular basis.
Service Centre: The organization
answers many individual inquiries concerning international organizations
and their activities and problems. These inquiries may come from the
organizations themselves, from people studying the organizations, or
from people wishing to benefit from their activities.
Promotion: The UIA attempts through
its publications and contacts to promote the concept of NGOs and the important
function they fulfill.
Method of Operation
The General Assembly
elects an Executive Committee which approves the program
submitted by the Secretariat. The Secretariat is controlled by the
Secretary-General and his Assistant.
Publications are prepared and published by the Secretariat which has a Sales
and Distribution Department. Sales are mainly to the following groups: universities,
travel agents, governments, NGOs, embassies, airlines, and libraries
of various types, as well as IGOs.
is 90%self-financing. Income is derived from the sale
of publications. The remaining 10% of the income is in the form of government
subsidies. The 1967 budget was Bfrs 5,600,000.
Relations with Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs)
UIA has 'consultative status' with the United Nations as a result of being
placed on the Roster of the Economic and Social Council. All
such organizations are automatically approved for consultative status "C" with
Unesco. The UIA is in regular contact with most IGOs.
Relations with International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
UIA has been a member of the International Libraries Association since 1967 It
has been closely associated with the creation of the Federation of International
Associations established in Belgian (FAIB), the International Association
of Congress Centres (with whom it organizes a series of congresses), the
International Association of Professional Congress Organizers and the International
Association of Manufacturers of Congress Equipment.
No other form of membership has been sought but the organization is in regular
contact with most NGOs.
Evaluation of the UIA
The UIA is an organic organization. This
means that it is not rigidly organized into hierarchies with a multitude of water-tight
compartments. Many decisions must be taken on an intuitive basis in order to
adapt to changing conditions and possibilities within and outside the organization,
It is a small organization which has been built up to promote certain points
of view, ideas and beliefs which are strongly held by the executive members of
the organization. Similar
beliefs are also held "by various groups of people active in other national
and international bodies. It is a measure of the success of the UIA that
it has been able to reach the stage where of its programs are self-financing.
An analysis can distinguish problems which might be critical in a highly structured
organization. In a small organic organization the same problems may not be
critical since the UIA can quickly deploy its internal resources to meet any
difficulties. This does not mean that an analysis is valueless but merely
that the points raised should be seen as indications of possible critical
problems which may warrant direct attention despite the internal resources.
This section has given an overall view of the UIA. In the following sections,
particular aspects of the organizations will be considered in more detail to
give a clearer picture of its objectives, potential, problems and strengths,
and the market to which it has to sell its publications.