Stories written by Thalif Deen
Thalif Deen, IPS UN Bureau Chief, has been covering the United Nations since the late 1970s. A former deputy news editor of the Sri Lanka Daily News, he was a senior editorial writer on the daily Hong Kong 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 on the IPS team which who won the prestigious gold award for reporting on the global environment-- and in 2013, for the second consecutive year, he shared the gold medal, 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, and a one-time member of the Sri Lanka delegation to the General Assembly sessions, Deen is currently editor-in-chief of the IPS U.N. Terra Viva daily electronic newsletter, published since March 1993. 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.

New York Vows to Stop Terrorist Attacks on City

When New York city launched a new counter terrorism unit, immediately following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Mayor Bill de Blasio was emphatic in his reaction: “We can say more certainly than ever before that no city in America is better prepared to defend against terrorism.”

World’s Poorest Nations Battle Rising Rural Poverty

The world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs), described as the poorest of the poor, are fighting a relentless battle against rising rural poverty.

Africa’s Climate Change Funding May Hit 100 Billion by Mid-Century

When the Climate Summit opens in Paris next week, one of the biggest issues facing world leaders is funding: how best to raise the billions of dollars needed to prevent the devastating consequences of global warming worldwide.

Global Hunger and Undernutrition Could End by 2025

The United Nations aims to help eliminate hunger and undernutrition – described as two of “greatest scourges” facing humankind -- by the year 2030.

Open Defecation to End by 2025, Vows UN Chief, Marking World Toilet Day

The state of the world’s toilets reveals the good, the bad and the ugly – but not necessarily in that order.

UN Advisory Board Seeks Powerful New Global Arena for Water and Sanitation

A 21-member UN Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), which has just completed its 11-year mandate, is calling for a complete overhaul of how the United Nations and the international community deals with two unresolved socio-economic issues on the post-2015 development agenda: scarcity of water and inadequate sanitation.

Civil Society May be Snagged at Paris Climate Talks

The rising security concerns, following the terrorist attacks in Paris last week, are threatening to unsettle civil society participation in the upcoming landmark international conference on climate change in the French capital.

US Universities Home to Record Number of Foreign Students

The number of international students in US colleges and universities has continued to increase, reaching nearly one million in the current 2014-2015 academic year, according to the latest figures released by the International Institute of Education (IIE).

Maternal Deaths Decline by 44 Percent, Says New Study

When world leaders adopted a set of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at a summit meeting in September 2000, one of the heavily-publicised goals was the commitment to reduce extreme poverty and hunger by the end of 2015.

Refugee Crisis May Threaten Development Aid to World’s Poor

As the spreading refugee crisis threatens to destabilize national budgets of donor nations in Western Europe, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday appealed to the international community not to forsake its longstanding commitment for development assistance to the world’s poorer nations.

Climate Change May Increase World’s Poor by 100 Million, Warns World Bank

The UN’s heavily-hyped Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were approved by more than 160 world leaders at a summit meeting in September, are an integral part of the world body’s post-2015 development agenda, including the eradication of hunger and poverty by 2030.

UN Staff Union Warns Pay Cuts Will Largely Undermine Women

The UN’s 60,000-strong international staff union is challenging some of the proposed cuts both on salaries and allowances which will “damage living standards, working conditions and family lives” of some 32,000 staffers “working in the world’s most dangerous locations.”

UN Targets “Hidden Source” for Development Funding

The United Nations has estimated a hefty funding requirement of over 3.5 trillion to 5.0 trillion dollars per year for the implementation of its ambitious post-2015 development agenda, including 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), approved by world leaders in September.

New 40-Nation Survey Reinforces Risks of Climate Change

A survey conducted in 40 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Western world has reinforced the lingering fear that climate change poses a serious challenge to humankind.

Journalists Under Siege As Occupational Hazards Rise

As news coverage from conflict zones -- and reporting from authoritarian regimes-- continue to be occupational hazards, journalists may fast become an “endangered species.”

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