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.

Despite Scepticism, U.N. Hails Its Anti-Poverty Programme

The United Nations, which launched one of its most ambitious anti-poverty development programmes back in 2000, has hailed it as a riveting success story – despite shortcomings.

U.N. Swears by Hefty 100 Billion Dollar Target to Fight Climate Change

The most devastating impact of climate change – including rising sea levels, floods, cyclones and both droughts and heavy monsoons – will be felt mostly by the world’s poorest nations.

U.N. Remains Divided Over Domestic and State Terrorism

When nine African-American worshippers were gunned down by a white supremacist inside a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina last month, there was a sharp division of opinion in the United States whether that murderous act of killing innocent civilians constituted a “hate crime” or an “act of terrorism.”

Toilets with Piped Music for Rich, Open Defecation on Rail Tracks for Poor

As most developing nations fall short of meeting their goals on sanitation, the world’s poorest countries have been lagging far behind, according to a new U.N. report released here.

U.N. Chief Seeks Equity in Paris Climate Change Pact

When the 193-member General Assembly hosted a high level meeting on climate change Monday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that any proposed agreement at an upcoming international conference in Paris in December must uphold the principle of equity.

Donors Pledge Over 4.4 Billion Dollars to Nepal – But With a Caveat

Blessed with more than 4.4 billion dollars in pledges at an international donor conference in Kathmandu on Thursday, the government of Nepal is expected to launch a massive reconstruction project to rebuild the earthquake-devastated South Asian nation.

Security Council Action on Gaza War Crimes a Non-Starter

When a U.N. panel released a 217-page report accusing both Israel and Hamas of possible war crimes committed during the 50-day conflict in Gaza last July, the chances of Security Council action were remote because of the traditional U.S. commitment to stand by Israel – right or wrong, mostly wrong.

Smart Phones New Tool to Capture Human Rights Violations

The widespread use of digital technology – including satellite imagery, body cameras and smart phones – is fast becoming a new tool in monitoring and capturing human rights violations worldwide.

Democracy on the Retreat in Over 96 of the 193 U.N. Member States, Says New Study

Democracy is on the retreat and authoritarianism is on the rise in more than 96 of the U.N.’s 193 member states, according to a new report released here.

U.N. Takes First Step Towards Treaty to Curb Lawlessness in High Seas

The 193-member General Assembly adopted a resolution Friday aimed at drafting a legally binding international treaty for the conservation of marine biodiversity and to govern the mostly lawless high seas beyond national jurisdiction.

Pope Could Upstage World Leaders at U.N. Summit in September

Judging by his recent public pronouncements - including on reproductive health, biodiversity, the creation of a Palestinian state, the political legitimacy of Cuba and now climate change – Pope Francis may upstage more than 150 world leaders when he addresses the United Nations, come September.

CTBTO, the Nuclear Watchdog That Never Sleeps

The world’s nuclear powers may succeed in thwarting sanctions by the Security Council or avoiding condemnation by the General Assembly, but they cannot escape the scrutiny of a key international watchdog body: the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

Could Peacekeeping Wives Deter Sexual Abuse in U.N. Overseas Operations?

Back in November 2007, about 108 military personnel from an Asian country, serving with the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti, were deported home after being accused of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of minors.

Climate Justice: Trial by Public Opinion for World’s Polluters

The United Nations, which is tasked with the protection of the global environment, has asserted that climate change affects people everywhere - with no exceptions.

World’s Nuke Arsenal Declines Haltingly While Modernisation Rises Rapidly

The world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons, held by nine states, just got a little smaller.

« Previous PageNext Page »