UNITED NATIONS, 7th May, 2016 (WAM)–China signed an agreement at the United Nations on Friday to begin releasing gradually a $1 billion to support the world body’s work in peace, security and development, with a first payment of $200 million.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the mega-fund at the UN General Assembly meeting in September, in a move widely seen as Beijing’s growing status as a global player.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is “extremely appreciative of this generous contribution to the UN,” said his spokesman Stephane Dujarric.