Hungary has established diplomatic relations with Kiribati. The related treaty was signed on Friday under ceremonious circumstances at Hungary’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

The agreement was concluded by Hungary’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Katalin Bogyay and her counterpart, Kiribati’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mrs. Makurita Baaro. Kiribati has had a Permanent Mission in New York since 2013. According to a statement issued by Hungary’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, the establishment of diplomatic relations facilitates cooperation between Hungary and Kiribati both in the UN and within the framework of bilateral relations.

The Republic of Kiribati lies in the central part of the Pacific Ocean and is made of of three groups of islands. The capital of the state, which only has a little more than a hundred thousand inhabitants, is on the island or Tarawa, which is also the most populated island. Kiribati’s inhabitants are among the most vulnerable to climate change, and scientists forecast that the country could disappear into the ocean within a few decades as a result of the expected increase in sea levels caused by global warming. This vulnerability is one of the reasons Kiribati plays such an active international role in the fight against climate change and in the efficient implementation of the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations.

The vast majority of Kiribati’s population is Micronesian and makes a living from cultivating coconuts and fishing, or from leasing fishing rights. Farmland and fresh water are scarce and the country’s previously important phosphorous mines were depleted in 1979, but part of the income from the mines was set aside in a special fund for future generations. Thanks especially to its unique wildlife, Kiribati also generates significant income from tourism.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)