Articles by Thalif Deen

We found 56 results.


UN’s 75th Anniversary Shadowed by Right-Wing Nationalism, Widespread Authoritarianism and Budgetary Cuts
Thalif Deen | IPS - Human Wrongs Watch, 21 Oct 2019

17 Oct 2019 – Perhaps the most politically-significant event in 2020 will be the 75th anniversary of the United Nations amidst continued threats against multilateral institutions, rising right-wing nationalism, growing authoritarianism and widespread disinformation–in the shadow of one of UN’s worst financial crises. SG Guterres warned: “The situation remains dire; without immediate action, I can no longer guarantee the smooth functioning of the Organization.”

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US Takes Back Signature on Arms Trade Treaty
Thalif Deen | IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 May 2019

29 Apr 2019 – The United States dropped a political bombshell when President Donald Trump announced his administration would withdraw from the historic Arms Trade Treaty which the former Obama administration signed in September 2013. The US, in effect, joins three other “rogue states” – North Korea, Iran and Syria – who voted against the treaty along with 23 countries that abstained on the voting, including China, Russia, India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

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Migrants: A UN Conference Undermined by 11th Hour Withdrawals
Thalif Deen | IPS News – TRANSCEND Media Service, 10 Dec 2018

7 Dec 2018 – When the long-awaited UN conference focusing on the rights and safety of migrants and refugees takes off in Morocco [10-14 Dec], it will be a rare, if not an unprecedented meeting, for one reason: the withdrawal of at least seven member states almost at the 59th minute of the eleventh hour.

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Merchants of Death Ultimate Winners in Escalating Military Conflicts
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Servicel-IPS, 19 Mar 2018

13 Mar 2018 -The world’s five major arms suppliers include the four permanent members of the UN Security Council: USA, Russia, France and China–plus Germany. Together, these five biggest exporters have accounted for about 74 per cent of all arms exports during 2013–17.

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US Faces Collective Defiance at UN over Jerusalem
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 25 Dec 2017

22 Dec 2017 – Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said: “We will remember it (the voting against the US), when we are called upon once again to make the world’s largest contribution to the UN”. The final tally on the vote was 128 in favour to 9 against (Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo, United States), with 35 abstentions.

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Developing Nations Seek UN Tax Body to Curb Illicit Financial Flows
Thalif Deen – Inter Pres Service-IPS, 15 Aug 2016

8 Aug 2016 – Despite Western opposition, the 134-member Group of 77 is continuing to pursue a longstanding proposal for an inter-governmental UN-affiliated tax body aimed at combating corporate tax dodging and curbing illicit financial flows, including money laundering and offshore banking.

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World’s Nuclear Arsenal Declines but Multi-Billion Dollar Modernization Continues
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 20 Jun 2016

The bad news is the continued modernization of nuclear weapons both by the US and Russia. Although details of the Russian program are not public, the US plans to spend $348 billion during 2015–24 on maintaining and comprehensively updating its nuclear forces. Some estimates suggest that the US nuclear weapon modernization program may cost up to $1 trillion over the next 30 years, according to SIPRI. Russia and the US together account for more than 93 per cent of all nuclear weapons on the planet.

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Mideast Arms Build-up Negative Fallout from Iran Nuclear Deal
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 27 Jul 2015

Jul 23 2015 – The nuclear agreement concluded last week between Iran and six big powers, the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, is threatening to trigger a new Middle East military build-up – not with nuclear weapons but with conventional arms, including fighter planes, combat helicopters, warships, missiles, battle tanks and heavy artillery.

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Civilian Killings? West Literally Gets Away with Murder
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 20 Jul 2015

Jul 16 2015 – The United Nations continues to come under heavy fire for singling out mostly non-Western states for human rights violations while ignoring the misdeeds of Western nations or big powers.

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Democracy on the Retreat in Over 96 of the 193 U.N. Member States, Says New Study
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 29 Jun 2015

“Legitimate civil society activities are worryingly under threat in a huge number of countries in the global North and South, democratic and authoritarian, on all continents.”

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Security Council Action on Gaza War Crimes a Non-Starter
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 29 Jun 2015

The chances of Security Council action are remote because of the traditional U.S. commitment to stand by Israel – right or wrong, mostly wrong. “When Israeli officials are put in the dock, U.S. officials ought to be right in there with them. Their conduct is inexcusable.”

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Donors Pledge Over 4.4 Billion Dollars to Nepal – But With a Caveat
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 29 Jun 2015

“It is critical that the international community and Nepal learn from the mistakes of past emergencies, where up to half of pledges are never delivered on.”

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Minorities Threatened More by Governments than Terrorist Groups, Says Study
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 25 May 2015

A new study released Wednesday [20 May 2015] by the London-based Minority Rights Group International says populations in the region were more at risk from their own governments.

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NGOs Urge Commission of Inquiry to Probe Sexual Abuse in U.N. Peacekeeping
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 18 May 2015

“The truth is startling and simple: No new mechanisms, no new methods of operation, no new policies can ever work in practice to prevent or punish sex abusers on staff who commit sexual offenses at present, because the U.N. bureaucracy responsible for implementing changes is completely dysfunctional.” — Paula Donovan, co-director at AIDS-Free World

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U.S. Hosts Arms Bazaar at White House Arab Summit
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 18 May 2015

According to Colin Kahl, national security advisor to Vice-President Joe Biden, the United Arab Emirates flies the most advanced U.S.-made F-16 fighter planes in the world. “They’re more advanced than the ones our Air Force flies,” he told reporters, without going into specifics.

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Middle East Conflicts Give Hefty Boost to Arms Merchants
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Apr 2015

The ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen have helped spiral arms sales upwards to the Middle East, according to a study released Monday [Mar 16 2015] by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

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Hold the Super Rich Accountable, Say OXFAM at the WSF
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 30 Mar 2015

London-based charity Oxfam unveiled a report with an alarming statistic: the world’s richest one percent will own more than 50 percent of the world’s wealth by 2016. And just 80 of the world’s richest will control as much wealth as 3.5 billion people: half the world’s population.

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Israel’s Obsession for Monopoly on Middle East Nuclear Power
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 16 Feb 2015

Feb 13 2015 – As the Iranian nuclear talks hurtle towards a Mar. 24 deadline, there is renewed debate about the blatant Western double standards underlying the resurrection of a longstanding proposal for a Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction.

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U.N. Helpless as Saudi Flogging Flouts Torture Convention
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 19 Jan 2015

“His flogging [1000 lashes, 50/week] and 10-year sentence are testament to the extreme lengths to which the Saudi Arabian authorities will go in order to crush dissent.”

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U.S. Twists Arms to Help Defeat Resolution on Palestine
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 5 Jan 2015

31 Dec 2014 – The United States re-asserted its political and economic clout – and its ability to twist arms and perhaps metaphorically break kneecaps – when it successfully lobbied to help defeat a crucial Security Council resolution on the future of Palestine this week.

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The Day Anti-Castro Forces Tried to Bomb the U.N.
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 22 Dec 2014

When Ernesto Che Guevera was at the UN to address the General Assembly in 1964, the U.N. headquarters came under attack – literally. The anti-Castro forces, backed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), mounted an insidious campaign to stop Che Guevera from speaking. A 3.5-inch bazooka was fired at the 39-storeyed glass house by the East River.

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Cycle of Death, Destruction and Rebuilding Continues in Gaza
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 20 Oct 2014

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon implicitly warned of the futility of the continuing exercise when he said: “We cannot continue to build and destroy – and build and destroy – like this. This should be the last reconstruction conference”. But will it?

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Swamped by Rising Seas, Small Islands Seek a Lifeline
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 18 Aug 2014

11 Aug 2014 – The world’s 52 small island developing states (SIDS), some in danger of being wiped off the face of the earth because of sea-level rise triggered by climate change, will be the focus of an international conference in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa next month.

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After Losing Vote, U.S.-EU Threaten to Undermine Treaty
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 7 Jul 2014

Jun 28 2014 – The USA and the 28-member EU have assiduously promoted – and vigorously preached – one of the basic tenets of Western multi-party democracy: majority rules. But at the United Nations, they have frequently abandoned that principle insisting on “consensus” when they are clearly outvoted.

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Israel in Political Isolation over New Palestinian Government
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 9 Jun 2014

The United States’ decision to “work with” the new Palestinian government has virtually isolated Israel: the only country so far to have publicly rejected the political alliance between Fatah and Hamas.

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Ukraine Coup Lawful, Crimea Referendum Unlawful?
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 24 Mar 2014

For US officials and press to claim that the coup in Ukraine complied with law, while the referendum in Crimea did not, is utter hypocrisy. “Imagine the response from Washington if Russia or China or some other sizable world power had worked hard to build a military and/or political alliance near U.S. borders.” — Norman Solomon

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Nuke Summit Agenda Circumvents Armed Powers
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Feb 2014

When over 50 world leaders meet in the Netherlands next month [March 2014] for a Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), the primary focus will be on a politically-loaded question: how do we prevent non-state actors and terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear weapons or nuclear materials?

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U.N. Will Censure Illegal Spying, But Not U.S.
Thalif Deen, IPS – TRANSCEND Media Service, 4 Nov 2013

A draft resolution currently in limited circulation – a copy of which was obtained by IPS – criticises “the conduct of extra-territorial surveillance” and the “interception of communications in foreign jurisdictions”. But it refuses to single out the NSA or the United States, which stands accused of spying on foreign governments, including political leaders in Germany, France, Brazil, Spain and Mexico, among some 30 others.

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U.N. Can Help Devalue Nukes as Geopolitical Currency
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 2 Sep 2013

When the 193-member U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) holds is first-ever high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament in September [2013], there is little or no hope that any of the nuclear powers will make a firm commitment to gradually phase out or abandon their lethal arsenals.

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China Leads Battle Against Poverty, Says U.N.
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 8 Jul 2013

The United Nations has singled out China – the world’s most populous country with over 1.3 billion people – as one of the key success stories in the longstanding battle against poverty.

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U.N.’s Water Agenda at Risk of Being Hijacked by Big Business
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 18 Feb 2013

Amidst growing new threats of potential conflicts over fast-dwindling water resources in the world’s arid regions, the United Nations will commemorate 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC). But Maude Barlow, a former senior advisor on water to the president of the U.N. General Assembly in 2008-2009, warns the U.N.’s water agenda is in danger of being hijacked by big business and water conglomerates.

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Cooperatives as Business Models of the Future
Thalif Deen – TerraViva Europe, 3 Dec 2012

26 Nov 2012 – When the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) concluded last week, some of the overwhelming success stories highlighted at a two-day interactive session came both from developing and developed countries, including India, Brazil, China, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Italy, France and the United States.

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Asian States Are World’s Largest Arms Buyers
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 26 Mar 2012

According to the latest figures released Monday [19 Mar 2012] by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the world’s five largest arms importers in 2007-2011 were all Asian states beating out the traditional frontrunners – the rich, oil-blessed Middle Eastern countries.

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Somalia’s Rich Maritime Resources Being Plundered, Report Says
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 27 Feb 2012

With the country’s 3,300-km coastline virtually unprotected, industrial fishing vessels from Europe and Asia have entered the area in large numbers and are plundering Somalia’s rich maritime resources. “Having over-fished their home waters, these sophisticated factory ships are seeking catch in one of the world’s richest remaining fishing zones,” says the report published by the New York-based Global Policy Forum (GPF).

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How the U.S. Manipulates Key U.N. Appointments
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 23 Jan 2012

When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces his new team of senior officials shortly, his appointments will be based not only on merit but also on demands made by the five big powers – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – as well as key donors who sustain U.N. agencies through voluntary contributions.

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Security Council Remains Grounded by Political Manipulation
Thalif Deen – TerraViva Europe, 26 Dec 2011

When Security Council resolution 1973 approved a “no-fly zone” inside Libya last March, it was meant to neutralise the Libyan air force and prevent it from bombing civilian demonstrators. Accusing the military forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) of exceeding their authority, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that in the good old days, “no-fly zone meant nobody is flying. In the brave new world, no fly zone means free-wheeling bombing of targets which you choose to bomb in whatever modality and mode you want, including the bombing of TV stations,” he said. “It is of grave concern to us to see the enormous ability of some of our colleagues to interpret resolutions” to suit their own interests, he added.

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U.N.’s First Official Report on Gays Notes Widespread Bias
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 19 Dec 2011

In its first-ever official report on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, the United Nations confirms there is widespread discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in “all regions” of the world. In many cases, asserts the 25-page report released Thursday [15 Dec 2011], “even the perception of homosexuality or transgender identity puts people at risk”.

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Cape Verde Recognised for Political, Economic Leadership
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 31 Oct 2011

When the former president of Cape Verde, Pedro de Verona Rodrigues Pires, was recently awarded the five-million-dollar African Leadership prize, the ex-Portuguese colony that he headed for nearly 10 years was singled out as one of the key African success stories for “good governance”, including multi-party democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights.

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UN: Despite Western Boycott, Racism Meeting Gets Overwhelming Support
Thalif Deen – TerraViva Europe, 26 Sep 2011

A “boycott” by more than a dozen Western nations, including the United States, Germany, Canada and Israel, failed to derail a high-level meeting on racism and xenophobia hosted by the 193-member General Assembly.

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Despite Exploding Volcanoes, Iceland World’s Most Peaceful Nation
Thalif Deen – TerraViva Europe, 12 Sep 2011

When Johanna Sigurdardottir was sworn in as Iceland’s head of government back in February 2009, she was described as the world’s first openly gay prime minister. But in a country with progressive political views and liberal social mores, her sexual orientation was never considered a liability.

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South-South Cooperation Revs Up
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 29 Aug 2011

Brazil has been using its growing strength to forge ties with other countries in the global south. The Brazilian Cooperation Agency is currently participating in scores of economic projects, mostly in the agricultural sector, in more than 80 developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. The projects range across industries from livestock and fisheries to horticulture and food production.

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Dutch Court Opens Door to Legal Accountability for Peacekeepers
Thalif Deen – TerraViva Europe, 15 Aug 2011

A landmark ruling by a Dutch court last month holding the Netherlands government liable for the failings of its soldiers on a U.N. peacekeeping mission may be used as a precedent for criminal liability involving sexual violence, according to human rights groups. “The decision of the Dutch court is significant for two reasons,” said Marek Marczynski, international justice expert at Amnesty International.

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World Population to Hit Seven Billion by October
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 11 Jul 2011

The United Nations commemorates World Population Day on July 11 against the backdrop of an upcoming landmark event: global population hitting the seven billion mark by late October this year.

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U.N. to Launch International Year of Cooperatives
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 23 May 2011

When the United Nations commemorates the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) in 2012, the world body will recognise the contributions made by cooperatives to socioeconomic development, including poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. Currently, an estimated 800 million cooperative members are involved in diverse sectors throughout the world economy. And these enterprises sustain around 100 million jobs worldwide.

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Does it Matter if the Torturer Is Right-Handed or Left-Handed?
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 7 Feb 2011

Jeanne Kirkpatrick, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, once made the highly-debatable distinction between “friendly” right-wing “authoritarian” regimes (which were mostly U.S. and Western allies) and “unfriendly” left-wing “totalitarian” dictatorships (which the U.S. abhorred). Kirkpatrick’s distinction between user-friendly right-wing regimes and unfriendly left-wing dictators prompted a response from her ideological foe at that time, former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who shot back: “It seems to me that if you’re on the rack (and being tortured), it doesn’t make any difference if your torturer is right handed or left-handed.”

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UN: Defining Terrorism
Thalif Deen – Inter Press Service-IPS, 29 Nov 2010

The UN remains unable to draw a distinction between “freedom fighters” and “state sponsored terrorism”…. terrorism has become a political epithet designed to place enemies beyond the pale as opposed to a technical term the purpose of which is to define certain criminal acts that violate the laws of war and for which the perpetrators can be held accountable. “Thus, in the Middle East, it has reached the point where Palestinian or Arab armed activities that target Israeli military personnel are characterised as terrorist acts, while Israeli armed activities that deliberately target civilians are characterised as legitimate acts of self- defence,” he said.

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U.N. Declares Water and Sanitation a Basic Human Right
Thalif Deen – IPS, 2 Aug 2010

When the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) back in December 1948, 58 member states voted for a historic document covering political, economic, social and cultural rights. On Wednesday [28 Jul 2010], nearly 62 years later, a widely-expanded 192- member General Assembly adopted another memorable resolution: this time recognising water and sanitation as a basic human right.

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Water as Human Right Threatens to Split World Body
Thalif Deen – IPS, 19 Jul 2010

A long outstanding proposal to recognise the right to water as a basic universal human right is threatening to split the world’s rich and poor nations.

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Israel Averts International Probe on Gaza Atrocities
Thalif Deen - IPS, 7 Jun 2010

Less than 48 hours after the Israeli attack on a flotilla of six ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, the most powerful political body at the United Nations acted most ineffectively: it opted for a shaky “presidential statement” instead of a demanding resolution.

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U.N. Nuke Meet Ends with Good Intentions and Empty Promises
Thalif Deen - IPS, 31 May 2010

The road to a nuclear weapons-free world is apparently paved with good intentions – but littered with plenty of platitudes and empty promises. A month-long nuclear non-proliferation review conference concluded late Friday “with more of a whimper than a bang”, said John Burroughs, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy.

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Brazil-Turkey Deal with Iran Undermines Big Power Politics
Thalif Deen – TerraViva Europe, 24 May 2010

When Brazil and Turkey clinched a deal with Iran over its disputed nuclear programme last weekend, the two non-permanent members of the Security Council not only challenged the unbridled political power exercised by the five big powers but also jeopardised U.S. plans for a unanimous resolution imposing sanctions against Tehran.

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U.N. Blasted for Sequestering NGOs and Media
Thalif Deen – TerraViva Europe, 26 Apr 2010

A major structural renovation of the U.N. Secretariat is being used as a pretext to curb media access to delegates and Security Council members, and is also a veritable smokescreen to tighten restrictions on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) accredited to the world body, critics say.

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Is the U.S. Going Soft on Israeli, Indian & Pakistani Nukes?
Thalif Deen – IPS, Worldpress, 19 Apr 2010

When a much-ballyhooed two-day nuclear security summit ended in Washington early this week, there were several lingering questions that remained unanswered – even by the host of the high-powered 47-nation gathering, U.S President Barack Obama.

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U.N. AFFIRMS ISRAELI-HAMAS WAR CRIMES REPORT
Thalif Deen – IPS, 8 Nov 2009

The vote was 114 in favour and 18 against, with 44 abstentions. The 18 countries that voted against the resolution included the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Israel.A 575-page blistering report by Justice Richard Goldstone detailing war crimes in Gaza last December is refusing to die despite an aggressive Israeli smear […]

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DEVELOPMENT: LAND GRABS FOR FOOD PRODUCTION UNDER FIRE
Thalif Deen, 28 Oct 2009

A move by governments and rich investors to raise food crops on farmland purchased in some of the world’s poorer countries is coming under fire."The purchase of vast tracts of land from poor, developing countries by wealthier, food-insecure nations and private investors have become a widespread phenomenon," says a new study by the Oakland Institute, […]

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DISARMAMENT: NO SLOWDOWN FOR WEAPONS INDUSTRY
Thalif Deen, 15 Sep 2009

The United Nations is surprised at the continued rise in global military spending – particularly at a time when the international community is grappling with a spreading financial crisis which threatens to undermine the poverty reduction goals of the world body. "The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded," says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who points […]

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