Beijing has vowed to play a bigger part in the United Nations, increasing its cash and being more involved in tackling common security problems. State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan said yesterday the government was determined to strengthen the UN's leading role in developing a new security pact and curbing international terrorism and arms proliferation. Speaking at a symposium marking the 60th birthday of the UN, Mr Tang said the creation of an international peace-building commission was necessary to develop an effective mechanism to prevent conflicts and ensure lasting peace. 'China is ready to promote the consultation process to ensure the birth of the commission this year,' he said. Mr Tang said while China had done a good job in 'lending a helping hand to other developing countries', it was time for developed nations to do more, such as further opening up their markets, transferring technology, increasing aid and reducing debt. Assistant Foreign Minister Shen Guofang said China's involvement in international affairs was a result of rising threats and challenges, including environmental protection and the threat of severe epidemics such as bird flu. 'In the light of unconventional security threats which are rapidly on the rise, we need to strengthen the role of the UN and enlist more support for the body,' he said. 'China should not only play an important role in preserving world peace and promoting economic development; we should make more contributions in tackling the new threats and challenges as the biggest developing nation and a fast-growing economy.' The official pledges came after criticism that Beijing had not fulfilled its international obligations in the UN, especially in terms of its share of the world body's expenses. China's share of UN financial contributions is 2.1 per cent, while Japan foots 19.5 per cent of the UN budget and the United States 22 per cent. Jin Yongjian, president of China's UN Association, defended China's position, saying China's share of the UN budget for 2004-2006 was 35 per cent more than the previous three years. China is paying US$36.5 million this year.