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.

Nepal Appeals to U.N. to Help Lift Economic Blockade

A coalition of independent Nepali citizens – including diplomats, journalists, women’s rights leaders, medical doctors and former U.N. officials – is calling on the international community and the United Nations to take “effective steps” to help remove an “economic blockade” imposed on Nepal.

U.N. Plans New Working Groups Aimed at Nuclear Disarmament

Against the backdrop of a potential military confrontation between the world’s two major nuclear powers – the United States and Russia – the United Nations is taking a significant step towards a hitherto impossible goal: nuclear disarmament.

Air Strikes on Hospital in Yemen Under Fire

The bombing of a Yemeni hospital, run by Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), has been described as a “war crime” – and triggered a wave of protests and outright condemnation.

Civil Society Activists Cold-Shouldered at Climate Talks

A former UN Secretary-General once paid a supreme compliment to the work of civil society groups when he described non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as the world’s “third super power” –- presumably ranking behind the United States and Russia.

NGOs Disappointed With Final Round of Climate Negotiations

Civil society groups have expressed disappointment over the outcome of the final round of U.N. climate change negotiations in Bonn -- 38 days ahead of the upcoming summit in Paris.

U.N. Rights Commissioner Blasts Harsh Treatment of Refugees

As the flow of migrants continues to rise – from war-ravaged countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa to Europe – so do the horror stories of the harsh treatment meted out to these refugees.

Water Remains Largely Marginalized in Climate Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week turned the spotlight on the “record number” of extreme weather-related events the world is witnessing these days.

A Younger Generation Cannot March on an Empty Stomach

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon insists there is a special role for the world’s younger generation in the U.N.’s post-2015 development agenda.

Women Seek Permanent Seat at Peace Negotiations

When the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) adopted a landmark resolution on women, peace and security 15 years ago, that resolution was best known by its numerals: 1325.

Nobel Prize for Economics Reflects Issues on U.N. Development Agenda

When the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics to Professor Angus Deaton of Princeton University, the accolade had a significant relevance to the United Nations.

U.N. Staffers Protest Proposed Pay Cuts For Some, Increases for Others

The United Nations, which is battling a negative fallout from a corruption scandal tainting the office of a former President of the General Assembly, is facing criticisms on another front: a proposed compensation package that calls for a reduction in the salaries of staffers, mostly at bottom and mid-levels and not senior hierarchy.

U.N. Upholds Human Rights, World Bank Dismisses Them

The United Nations has always remained one of the most vociferous and passionate advocates of human rights – exemplified in the creation in 2006 of a 47-member Human Rights Council in Geneva to uphold its mandate.

U.N. Launches Probe Amidst Charges of Bribery and Corruption

After initial hesitation, the United Nations has decided to probe allegations of bribery and corruption extending to the office of a past President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the highest policy-making body in the 70-year old Organisation.

Rise in Large Scale Refugees Triggers New International Population Order

As the unprecedented flow of hundreds and thousands of migrants and refugees continues from war-ravaged countries to Europe, a new study warns that large-scale migration from poorer to rich nations will be a permanent feature of the global economy for decades.

Women’s Alliance Plans to Counter Violent Extremism

When the Security Council recently hosted a meeting of world leaders to discuss the growing threats from violent extremism, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that any success in battling intolerance will be predicated on a “unified response.”

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