Friday, December 15, 2006

UN Fails The Parking Ticket Test

Annan's replacement at the UN vows to clean house but since the UN reflects its mostly corrupt membership, he's bound to fail.

Here's his
promising start:
Ban Ki-moon was sworn in yesterday as the new U.N. secretary-general and...shifted the mood at the U.N. General Assembly, vowing to launch an "Operation Restore Trust

...the former South Korean foreign minister condemned Iran's recent conference of Holocaust deniers and its president's call to wipe Israel off the map, calling both "unacceptable."

This shows the enormity of the task:

....since 1997, foreign diplomats in New York have forgone payment on over 150 thousand tickets – some $18 million in unpaid tickets. The researchers also say that they found a direct correlation between the list of parking violators and the results of the study by the World Bank on global corruption in the countries cited in the report.

The study also says that the countries that did pay their fines were also the countries with the least violations.

The UN's champion parking violator? Kuwait, with 246 unpaid tickets per diplomat per year – over the past five years. Egypt comes in second with half that amount, followed by Chad, Sudan, Bulgaria, Mozambique, Albania, Angola, Senegal, Pakistan, Cote d'Ivoire, Zambia, Morocco, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Syria, Benin and Cameroon.

Only 20 countries – including Israel – have paid all their parking tickets. The list includes Canada, Britain, Japan, Ireland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. class.

A diplomat who was caught violating parking laws twice, and does not pay his fine – will have his diplomatic license plate removed from his vehicle and he returns to being exposed to towing, fines and all the other penalties familiar to regular citizens.

People in high trust nations find such behavior inexplicable because we're contemptuous of lawbreakers, and that's a huge sanction over and above fines and towing.

But in low trust societies people who behave dishonestly or antisocially are admired, so these scofflaw diplomats will have enhanced their reputations with their corrupt UN peers.

And Mr Ki-moon can't change that.