Stories written by Thalif Deen
Thalif Deen, UN Bureau Chief and Regional Director IPS North America, has been covering the U.N. since the late 1970s. A former deputy news editor of the Sri Lanka Daily News, he was a senior editorial writer on the Hongkong daily, The Standard. He has been runner-up and cited twice for “excellence in U.N. reporting” at the annual awards presentation of the U.N. Correspondents Association (UNCA). In November 2012, he was part of an IPS team which who won the prestigious gold award for reporting on the global environment-- and in 2013, he shared the gold medal with the Associated Press for his reporting on the humanitarian and development work of the United Nations. A former information officer at the U.N. Secretariat, and a one-time member of the Sri Lanka delegation to the U.N. General Assembly sessions, Deen is currently editor in chief of the IPS U.N. Terra Viva daily electronic newsletter, published since March 1993. Since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, he has covered virtually every single major U.N. conference: on population, human rights, the environment, social development, food security, water, energy and education. A former military editor Middle East/Africa at Jane’s Information Group in the U.S, a columnist for the Sri Lanka Sunday Times and a longtime U.N. correspondent for Asiaweek, Hongkong and Jane's Defence Weekly, London, he is a Fulbright scholar with a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, New York.

As Nuke Talks Begin, U.N. Chief Warns of Dangerous Return to Cold War Mentalities

Against the backdrop of a new Cold War between the United States and Russia, two of the world’s major nuclear powers, the United Nations is once again playing host to a four-week-long international review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Middle East Conflicts Trigger New U.S.-Russia Arms Race

The escalating military conflicts in the Middle East – and the month-long aerial bombings of Yemen by an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia – have triggered a new arms race in the politically-volatile region.

Riches in World’s Oceans Estimated at Staggering 24 Trillion Dollars

The untapped riches in the world’s oceans are estimated at nearly 24 trillion dollars – the size of the world’s leading economies, according to a new report released Thursday by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Saudis Compensate Civilian Killings with 274 Million in Humanitarian Aid to Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s right hand does not know what its left foot is up to, belittles an Asian diplomat, mixing his metaphors to describe the political paradox in the ongoing military conflict in Yemen.

U.N. Helpless as Crises Rage in 10 Critical Hot Spots

The United Nations is fighting a losing battle against a rash of political and humanitarian crises in 10 of the world’s critical “hot spots.”

U.N. Struggles to Cope with New Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

The United Nations, which is providing humanitarian aid to over 50 million refugees worldwide, is struggling to cope with a new crisis in hand: death and destruction in Yemen.

U.N. Warns of Growing Divide Between Nuclear Haves and Have-Nots

As she prepared to leave office after more than three years, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane painted a dismal picture of a conflicted world: it is “not the best of times for disarmament.”

U.N.’s Next Stop: Humanitarian Summit to Resolve Exploding Refugee Crisis

As the world's spreading humanitarian crisis threatens to spill beyond the borders of Syria and Iraq into Libya and Yemen, the United Nations is already setting its sights on the first World Humanitarian Summit scheduled to take place in Istanbul next year.

Pledges for Humanitarian Aid to Syria Fall Short of Target by Billions

When United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stood before 78 potential donors at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait Tuesday, his appeal for funds had an ominous ring to it: the Syrian people, he remarked, "are victims of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time."

U.N. Staffers Caught in Deadly Crossfire in Ongoing Conflicts

The deadly Syrian military conflict - now entering its fifth year - which has claimed the lives of over 200,000 mostly civilians, including women, children and aid workers, has not spared the United Nations either.

Nuclear Threat Escalating Beyond Political Rhetoric

As a new cold war between the United States and Russia picks up steam, the nuclear threat is in danger of escalating – perhaps far beyond political rhetoric.

Cash-Strapped U.N. to Seek Funds for Syria at Pledging Conference in Kuwait

A cash-strapped United Nations, which is struggling to reach out to millions of Syrian refugees with food, medicine and shelter, is desperately in need of funds.

Hold the Rich Accountable in New U.N. Development Goals, Say NGOs

When the World Economic Forum (WEF) met last January in Switzerland, attended mostly by the rich and the super-rich, the London-based charity Oxfam unveiled a report with an alarming statistic: if current trends continue, the world’s richest one percent would own more than 50 percent of the world’s wealth by 2016.

World’s Richest One Percent Undermine Fight Against Economic Inequalities

The growing economic inequalities between rich and poor – and the lopsided concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the world’s one percent - are undermining international efforts to fight global poverty, environmental degradation and social injustice, according to a civil society alliance.

Middle Income Nations Home to Half the World’s Hungry

Nearly half of the world’s hungry, amounting to about 363 million people, live in some of the rising middle income countries, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Mexico, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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