Kiribati is an island county situated in the central Pacific Ocean. It includes 33 atolls which are dissipated over 3.5 million square kilometers. The word “Kiribati” is the local version of “Gilberts” obtained from its pre-independence name, “The Gilbert Islands”. Kiribati was occupied by a single ethnic group of Micronesians, which spoke the same language for more than 2000 years prior to the European advent. In the early 19th century and the late 18th century, the islands were first noticed by the American and the British ships. A Russian admiral by the name “Adam von Krusenstern” and French by the name “Louis Duperrey” named the islands as “Gilbert Islands” in honor of Thomas Gilbert, who crossed the archipelago in 1788.
It was only in the year 1971 that, the Ellice Islands and the Gilbert Islands gained self-rule. In 1975, the Ellis Islands became an autonomous nation of Tuvalu. This was followed by Kiribati’s independence on the 12th of July, 1979. Shortly after its independence and ratification in 1983, the United States signed a treaty under which it renounced all clams to the Line Islands and Phoenix islands that are now a part of the territory of Kiribati. Kiribati gained the UN membership in 1999.