on February 13, 1997, Parliament elected Kinza Godfrey
Clodumar as new president - the 4th in just 4 months. As one
of his first steps, he started attracting foreign investment
- especially from Australia. In December, the country
resumed diplomatic relations with France, which had been
suspended since 1995 in protest against the nuclear tests in
In late 1997, Clodumar demanded that the world
drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The president
emphasized that Nauru is in danger of disappearing into the
sea as an indirect consequence of global air pollution.
The country's residents, who just a few years ago had one
of the world's highest incomes per year. In recent years,
the population has experienced a drastic decline in their
living conditions due to the government's mis investments.
Clodurmar's successor, Bernard Dowiyogo, lost the confidence
of Parliament and was replaced in April 1999 by Rene Harris
at the presidential post. The most serious problem in the
island is that the minerals that used to be the country's
most important source of income are almost depleted. Harris
was unable to deal with this problem and resigned from the
post in April 2000. In these circumstances, Parliament
re-elected Dowiyogo as president.
In August 2001, 460 illegal emigrants - predominantly
Afghans, but also Singaporeans and Thais - were rescued by a
Norwegian freighter as their own ship sank. The cargo ship
sought to set them off on Christmas Island, which is
Australian territory, but Australia refused to accept them.
After several days of diplomatic negotiations, an agreement
was reached that 150 refugees could come to New Zealand,
while the rest should be sent to Nauru. Canberra offered the
Naurus government to pay all expenses in accordance with the
The same year, the International Finance Action Group
took steps against Nauru because the country had not
strengthened its anti-money laundering legislation. It was
therefore put on the list of countries that did not want to
cooperate on the issue. The following year, the United
States raised $ 70 billion US $ withdrawn from Russia in
1998 was deposited into accounts in Nauru.