More information about Nauru is available on the Nauru country page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Nauru in 1976, eight years after Nauru’s independence from an Australia-administered trusteeship. The relationship between the United States and Nauru is based on mutual respect and shared interests. The two countries work together on issues ranging from strengthening regional security, to promoting sustainable economic development and educational opportunities, to protecting fisheries. The United States has no consular or diplomatic offices in Nauru. Officers of the U.S. Embassy in Fiji are concurrently accredited to Nauru and make regular visits.
U.S. Assistance to Nauru
U.S. assistance to Nauru is restricted by U.S. law based on Nauru’s continuing recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The United States is, however, a major financial contributor to international and regional organizations that assist Nauru, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, UN Children’s Fund, World Health Organization, and UN Fund for Population Activities. The United States has an expanded shiprider agreement under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) with Nauru to provide security and support missions that allow Nauruan law enforcement officials to ride aboard U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard vessels. The United States also contributes U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy air assets to regional Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) operations that help Nauru protect earnings from fishing licenses in the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Additionally, Nauru participates in U.S. Indo-Pacific Command sponsored workshops on topics including humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and maritime security.
In 2019 the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Section opened an American Shelf at the community library on the University of the South Pacific campus. PD has engaged in many public outreach events including a mural arts program and multiple exchange and education programs for Nauruan participants on teacher development, journalism professionalization, and tourism promotion.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Trade between the United States and Nauru is limited by the latter’s small economy and remoteness. As Nauru’s phosphate mining has declined with the depletion of reserves, the country has relied heavily on payments for fishing rights within its exclusive economic zone, the operation of regional processing centers for asylum seekers to Australia (administered by Australia but with opportunities for local employment and compensation to the Nauruan government), and development assistance. Nauru is a party to the U.S.-Pacific Islands Multilateral Tuna Fisheries Treaty, which provides access to U.S. fishing vessels in exchange for a license fee paid by U.S. industry. Under a separate Economic Assistance Agreement associated with the Treaty, the United States government currently provides $21 million per year to Pacific island parties.
Nauru’s Membership in International Organizations
Nauru and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Pacific Community, and the Secretariat of the Regional Environmental Programme. Nauru also belongs to the Pacific Islands Forum, of which the United States is a Dialogue Partner. Nauru hosted the PIF Leaders Meeting in 2018.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Nauru has no embassy in Washington, D.C., but Nauru’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York is also accredited as ambassador to the United States. More information about Nauru is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: