Tonga’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for Tonga’s international relations and manages the running of the country’s embassies. Tonga is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and has been a member of the United Nations since 1999. There are a number of embassies and high commissions in Tonga, all of which operate from Nukualofa. Tonga has strong bilateral relations with Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Tonga also has its own diplomatic representatives – embassies high commissions and consulates – in some five countries around the world working to improve the lives of Tongans at home and abroad.
There are a number of embassies and high commissions in Tonga, all of which operate from the country’s capital, Nukualofa. These include Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and The United Kingdom. In addition there are consulates for Germany, Korea (Republic), The Netherlands and Sweden. China has committed to promote inclusive and sustainable development in the Pacific region; Australia runs a number of programs designed to develop cooperation, give direct aid and provide scholarship programs; and New Zealand’s aim is to reduce poverty and provide a secure, equitable, and prosperous world. They are also working to address poverty, conflict, governance issues, and humanitarian crises.
Tonga maintains cordial relations with lots of countries and has close relations with its Pacific neighbours. It maintains embassies, high commissions and consulates in around five different countries. Tonga has a permanent representative to the UN in New York who also holds the post of ambassador to the US. Consulates such as the ones in Beijing, Sydney and San Francisco are used to handle economic and consular affairs, whereas the embassies and high commissions in the capitals of Australia, China and London, the United Kingdom have a wider range of responsibilities such as handling political, economic, press and consular affairs. They also aim to develop co-operation between nations, whilst allowing Tongan’s to travel to and work in participating countries more easily.