U.S. Relations With Nauru

Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Fact Sheet
December 22, 2016

More information about Nauru is available on the Nauru 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 close relationship between the United States and Nauru is based on mutual respect and shared interests. The two countries work closely together on a broad range of issues, from strengthening regional security, to promoting sustainable development and addressing climate change, to protecting fisheries and the environment. 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 periodic visits.

U.S. Assistance to Nauru

In 2016, the United States donated two 10,000-liter water tanker trucks to haul water between communities since there is no central water piping system in Nauru. The United States is also 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 also has an expanded ship-rider agreement under the under Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) with Nauru to provide security and support ship-rider missions which 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).

Bilateral Economic Relations

Trade between the United States and Nauru is limited by the latter's small size and remoteness. As Nauru's phosphate mining has declined due to the depletion of reserves, the country has relied heavily on payments for fishing rights within its exclusive economic zone, operation of detention 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, and the International Monetary Fund. Nauru also belongs to the Pacific Islands Forum, of which the United States is a Dialogue Partner.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Kiribati is Judith Cefkin, resident in Fiji; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Nauru has no embassy in Washington, DC, but has a mission to the United Nations in New York. More information about Nauru is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Nauru Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Nauru Page
U.S. Embassy: Fiji
History of U.S. Relations With Nauru
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Travel and Business Information