China takes first step in $1 billion pledge to U.N. to fund peace, development

Chinese President Xi Jinping goes down the stage after a speach on the opening ceremony of CICA, at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on 28 April, 2016. REUTERS/Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - China signed an agreement with the United Nations on Friday to pay $20 million annually for a decade to help fund peace, security and development activities, taking the first step in fulfilling a $1 billion pledge made by President Xi Jinping.

The money will be paid into a newly established U.N. Peace and Development Trust Fund, and China’s contribution will be split evenly between supporting peace and security, and implementing a 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was “extremely appreciative of this generous contribution to the United Nations,” his spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

“This is a follow-up of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s announcement last September of China’s contribution to a strong United Nations,” Dujarric said.

During the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations in September last year, Xi said China would establish “a 10-year, $1 billion China-U.N. peace and development fund to support the U.N.’s work.”

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Bernadette Baum