Nigeria and China on Thursday held a conference on conflict resolution in Abuja, capital city of the West African country, with a view to address issues of international affairs, peace and security, Sino-African relations and a host of other concerns.
The conference, organized by Nigeria's Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolutions (IPCR) in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, was held with belief that discussions on traditional methods of conflict management was not only apposite, but timely and necessary.
"This conference is very strategic and important to us in many respects. First and foremost, this conference is the second international conference we are organizing with the People's Republic of China with the aim of forging common goal of international peace and security," said Joseph Golwa, director general of the ICPR, at the opening of the conference.
He noted the first edition of the conference, held in November 2011, availed Nigerians the opportunity to learn and share experiences with the Chinese.
According to Golwa, since China is increasingly showing interest in issues of peace and security in Africa, which is a welcome development, there is need to appreciate the fact that human security is at the heart of Africa's challenges.
He also commended the Chinese Embassy's role in promoting the conference, describing it as a clear demonstration of the evolving role of the government of China in international peace and security.
"This is because China is internationalizing the concept of peaceful and harmonious development that has since been the anchor of her peaceful rise," Golwa added.
On his own part, Chinese Ambassador in Nigeria Deng Boqing, who received a commendation plaque from the IPCR director, responded to the encomiums showered on the Chinese government, saying the Chinese people attach great importance to economic development and improvement of national welfare through peace and harmony.
"In the course of seeking proper ways out of conflicts, the Chinese people laid much emphasis on prevention of conflicts by addressing the root causes and formulated a set of philosophical ideas in this respect, the focus of which lies in the concept of harmony," he said.
Deng called on the international community to fully respect the will and choices of African countries by avoiding interference into internal affairs, supporting them to chart the course of development in line with their specificities, upholding the principles of objectivity and impartiality and supporting the African people in their efforts to solve problem by their own means.
On China's part, the envoy reiterated that the East Asian nation would continue to promote peace and harmony in Africa by playing a constructive role in African peace and security affairs.
"In recent years, African countries have been endeavoring to maintain peace and security on this continent. The aspirations of our African friends have been growing along with their capabilities.
"However, Africa remains the continent most vulnerable to conflicts. To realize harmony on this continent, integrated measures should be taken, not to obtain tentative peace, but to address the root causes," he noted.
A few lectures, by Nigerian and Chinese experts and scholars, were also delivered at the conference on how to maintain peace and stability by means of traditional methods.