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Marshall Islands

Context:

The United States recently signed a new 20-year agreement on economic assistance to the Marshall Islands worth $2.3 billion.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. The Marshall Islands
  2. Historical Background
  3. Compact of Free Association with the United States

The Marshall Islands:

  • Location: The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is situated in the western Pacific Ocean and comprises a chain of five volcanic islands and 29 coral atolls.
  • Capital: Majuro
  • Official Languages: English and Marshallese
  • Government: The Marshall Islands is a presidential republic with a parliamentary system. The President of the Marshall Islands serves as both the head of state and the head of government.
  • Economy: The economy of the Marshall Islands relies primarily on agriculture and tourism.
  • Official Currency: United States dollar
  • Cryptocurrency: In 2018, the Marshall Islands became the first country to issue its own cryptocurrency and certify it as legal tender.
Historical Background:
  • The islands have had various colonial rulers over the centuries, including Spain from the late 1400s to the late 1800s, Germany from 1885 to World War I, and Japan from 1914 to World War II.
  • After World War II, the Marshall Islands became part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under United States administration.
  • The RMI Government was officially established in 1979, following the signing of the Constitution.
  • The Marshall Islands gained its independence in 1986 after signing the Compact of Free Association with the United States, terminating the UN-US Trusteeship Agreement.
Compact of Free Association with the United States:
  • This compact provides the Marshall Islands with financial assistance, defense protection, and access to U.S. government programs.
  • It acknowledges the Marshall Islands’ right to self-government and aims to promote economic development and budgetary self-reliance.
  • The United States holds full authority and responsibility for the security and defense of the Marshall Islands.

-Source: The Hindu


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