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.

World’s Poor Trailing Far Behind Rich in Digital Technology

The world’s developing nations, numbering over 130, are still lagging far behind the 34 rich industrialized countries in the race for digital technology.

UN Seeks Hefty 20 Billion Dollars for Humanitarian Needs in 2016

The world’s refugee crisis – triggered mostly by conflicts and persecutions – will continue to be one of the biggest problems facing the United Nations next year.

Syrian Refugees, Fleeing Civil War, Reduced to Extreme Poverty, Says New Study

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her immigration policies early this week -- and announced plans to absorb about one million refugees, mostly from Syria -- she was apparently greeted with a nine-minute standing ovation by members of her Christian Democratic Union.

Paris Agreement Leaves Climate Funding in Limbo

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who described climate change as one of the “defining priorities” of his nine-year tenure as UN chief, went into raptures over the Paris agreement concluded on Saturday.

Development Aid on the Decline, Warns New Study

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed fears last month that increases in humanitarian aid to thousands of refugees invading Europe could result in sharp cuts on development aid by Western donors.

Climate Talks in Final Phase With No Resolution on Funding

As the Paris climate talks move to its conclusion Friday, civil society groups are expressing serious concerns about the continued deadlock on a proposed package for funding amounting to about 100 billion dollars a year by 2020.

Climate Summit May be Heading for a Showdown Over Financing

The two-week long Paris summit, which is expected to adopt a landmark international treaty on climate change by mid-December, may be heading for a political showdown over one of the most controversial issues at the ongoing talks: financing.

Military Budgets Unexplored Source for Development Funding

As the United Nations continues its intense search for trillions of dollars needed to finance 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders last September, there is one rich source that remains unexplored: world military budgets.

Paris Climate Summit Opens With Dire Warning

When the climate summit opened in Paris on Monday, the mood was overwhelmingly pessimistic -- largely about the current state of the global environment.

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.

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