IPS UN Bureau Chief Thalif Deen receiving the gold medal from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Photo credit: Rousbeh Legatis.
UNITED NATIONS — At the annual UN Correspondents Association (UNCA) award ceremony/black tie dinner in New York on December 19, Inter Press Service (IPS) was declared winner of a prestigious gold medal for its global and UN coverage of the environment – specifically climate change, biodiversity and water.
IPS UN Bureau Chief Thalif Deen, who has covered virtually every single major UN conference since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, was singled out for his contributions.
The panel of judges also recognized the collective efforts of the IPS team that covered the Rio+20 Summit in June, including Stephen Leahy (Canada), Mario Osava and Fabiola Ortiz (Brazil), Desmond Brown (based in the Caribbean) and Amantha Perera (Sri Lanka).
The gold medal prize was co-sponsored by UNCA and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, which “encourages the implementation of innovative and ethical solutions in three main areas: climate change, biodiversity and water” and recognizes excellence in reporting on “sustainable and equitable management of natural resources, placing the individual at the centre of its projects.”
The glittering award ceremony, held at the celebrated Cipriani restaurant in the UN neighborhood, was attended by over 500 diplomats, ambassadors, senior UN officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGO), the media and New York celebrities.
Former California Governor and Hollywood mega star Arnold (‘The Terminator’) Schwarzenegger walked away with the ‘UNCA Global Advocate of the Year Award’ for his political crusade for a cleaner global environment and for being the first US Governor to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Other gold winners included CBS News TV/Radio and Diario Pagina Siete of Bolivia (for political coverage), Al-Arabiya News Channel (for broadcast journalism) and ProSiebenSat.1 of Hamburg (for coverage of humanitarian and development aspects of the UN.)
The winners of the silver and bronze included Al Jazeera English, Bloomberg News, BBC News, The Guardian and Business Day of Nigeria and the Daily Nation of Kenya.
You can read our prize-winning environmental reporting here.