Until 21 October 1986, the Marshall Islands was administered by the United States under a UN Trusteeship Agreement. The Marshall Islands was admitted to the UN on 17 September 1991, and participates in agencies including UNCTAD, UNESCO, and WHO. In 1992, it became a member of ESCAP. The government continues to support and participate in the activities of regional bodies and has full membership in the SPC. The Marshall Islands has no diplomatic missions overseas, although an office of a resident representative to the United States was established in 1986.
In 1996 the Marshall Islands joined with 38 other nations to form the Alliance of Small Island States. The Alliance, concerned with global warming and rising sea levels, wants the industrialize nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2005.