Signing the Compact of Free Association and United Nations Admission
The United States and the Marshall Islands
signed a Compact of Free Association in 1986, which meant the islands
became self-governing but would receive U.S. military and economic aid,
roughly $65 million a year. The Marshall Islands were admitted to the UN
on Sept. 17, 1991.
In 2000, Kessai Note became the first commoner
to become president—his predecessors had been island chiefs. He ran
on an anticorruption ticket and is attempting to make his small nation
more self-sufficient. In 2003, the U.S. and the Marshall Islands agreed on
a new Compact of Free Association, an extension of the lease to use the
Kwajalein military base in exchange for economic aid. In Jan. 2004,
Parliament reelected President Note.