Stories written by Thalif Deen
Thalif Deen, who has been covering the United Nations since the late 1970s, is a former deputy news editor of the Sri Lanka Daily News and senior editorial writer on the Hong Kong Standard. As former UN Bureau Chief for Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency, he was 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 on the IPS team which who won the prestigious gold medal for reporting on the global environment-- and in 2013, he shared the gold, this time with the Associated Press (AP), for his reporting on the humanitarian and development work of the United Nations. A former information officer at the U.N. Secretariat, he served twice as a member of the Sri Lanka delegation to the UN General Assembly sessions. Beginning with the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, he has covered virtually every major U.N. conference: on population, human rights, the environment, social and economic development, food security, humanitarian aid, nuclear disarmament, 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, Hong Kong and Jane's Defence Weekly, London, he is a Fulbright scholar with a Master’s Degree in journalism from Columbia University, New York.

UN Pension Fund Claims its Assets are Safe, Future Secure

The UN Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF), whose current assets are estimated at over $54.2 billion, has no plans to “privatize” and is in “solid” financial health, according to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Fund Sergio Arvizu.

G77 & IPS Launch Monthly Electronic Newsletter

The Group of 77 (G77) has sustained a longstanding symbiotic relationship with Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency linked together by a single political commitment: promoting the interests of developing countries.

UN Staffers Protest Plans to Privatise $53 Billion Pension Fund

The Coordinating Committee for International Staff Unions and Associations of the UN system (CCISUA), which represents over 60,000 staffers worldwide, has expressed serious concern over the future of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund (UJSPF) which guarantees the economic survival of retirees.

Global Coalition Seeks Ban on Mercury Use

A coalition of over 25 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has launched a global campaign to end a longstanding health and environmental hazard: the use of mercury in dentistry.

China-led Development Bank Pledges $500 Million to Asian Projects

The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was launched last year with the aim of funding projects on a continent with some of the world’s most populous nations, has pledged over $500 million in four concessional loans to Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Will Brexit Have Political Ramifications at UN?

The much-ballyhooed British exit (Brexit) from the 28-member European Union (EU) is likely to have political ramifications at the United Nations – both in the short and the long term.

UN Staff Unions Demand Stronger Action on Sexual Abuse

The United Nations claims it is doing its best to curb widespread sexual abuses in its peacekeeping operations overseas – from Haiti all the way to the Central African Republic.

Western Nations, Blaming Cash Crunch, Pull out of UNIDO

The 134-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing countries, has expressed serious concern over the “unprecedented” withdrawal of nine member states from the Vienna-based UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

World’s Nuclear Arsenal Declines But Multi-Billion Dollar Modernization Continues

The world’s nuclear arsenal continues to decline – from 15,850 warheads in early 2015 to 15,395 in 2016, according to the latest figures released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Asia-Pacific Region Aims at Hunger-Free Goal by 2030

The Asia Pacific region - home to two of the world's most populous countries - faces major food security challenges.According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), both China and India are not only two of the world's biggest producers of food but also the world's biggest consumers.

When the UN Comes Under Heavy Fire

When heads of government and foreign ministers make their annual pilgrimage to the United Nations in September, it is rare to hear hard-hitting, headline-grabbing political statements from the podium.

UNFPA Funding Cuts Threaten Women’s Health in Poorer Nations

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which has played a key role in ensuring maternal health and promoting reproductive rights of millions of women world-wide, is expected to suffer over $140 million in funding cuts by Western donors this year.

Nobel Peace Laureates to Help Achieve Food Security

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) believes that ongoing military conflicts, which have also devastated agricultural crops and livestock, are one of the primary causes of food shortages in war zones in Africa and the Middle East.

Could the UN be Doing More to Protect Journalists?

As the world commemorates World Press Freedom Day, a coalition of some 35 press freedom groups is calling on the 193-member General Assembly to appoint a Special Representative of the Secretary General to monitor and oversee the safety of journalists worldwide.

UN Predicts 40 Percent Water Shortfall by 2030

Ten presidents and prime ministers from around the world will work together to resolve the growing global water crisis amid warnings that the world may face a 40 percent shortfall in water availability by 2030.

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