President Barack Obama on Wednesday asked members of the United Nations to work together to end violence and bigotry around the world, even though many of the diplomats he addressed have refused to cooperate on a more basic level by paying off their New York City parking tickets.
A Wall Street Journal report this week said diplomats owe the city about $16 million in unpaid tickets, most of which are more than a decade old and seem likely to never be repaid.
President Barack Obama called for cooperation at the United Nations, but was mum on the millions some UN delegations owe New York City. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
According to the Journal, Egypt owes nearly $2 million, and diplomats from many other developing nations owe several hundred thousand dollars.
In 2002, New York City went after ticket-dodgers more aggressively, and the total in unpaid diplomatic parking fines since then is only about $400,000. The rest of the fines pre-date 2002.
Nigeria owes $894,000 in unpaid parking tickets, but when a Nigerian aide to the UN was asked about it, he said, "I don't know why I should be the one to talk."
Other countries that owe the city more than $500,000 are Indonesia, Brazil, Morocco and Pakistan.
The United States hosts the UN in New York, and pays for roughly one-fifth of its roughly $5 billion regular budget.