Friday, January 28, 2005

UN Corruption Index

The excellent Diplomad continues to dissect the untruths coming out of the UN in the wake of the tsunami. And the Oil for Bribes scandal continues to grow. Why has an organization set up with such high aims come so low?

A simple explanation is that it's designed that way. Here's why.

Every nation in the world (barring of course Taiwan) is represented at the UN and has democratic oversight of the UN executive. So the UN secretariat is bound to reflect that membership in its behavior. Not to do so would risk loss of office & its associated valuable perquisites - high salary, first class travel, 4 star hotels, diplomatic privileges etc.

We can look at the corruption level of the UN's members through the 2004 Corruption Perceptions Index, compiled at the University of Passau on behalf of Transparency International. That covers most but not all of the UN membership. We'd expect the UN staff to behave at a level equal to the median of its membership - half of the members fall above the median and half below.

The median state is Syria.