A Nigerian Diplomat and accomplished scholar of international repute, Professor Bola Akinterinwa has attributed the deteriorating global peace to dwindling diplomatic relationships.
He made the assertion at the maiden edition of the Master of Public and International Affairs (MPIA) Diplomatic Roundtable, held on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, at the new Faculty of Social Science Complex.
Delivering the keynote address, titled ‘Role of Diplomacy in maintaining Peace among Nations”, Prof. Akinterinwa revealed that the topic is predicated on the role of diplomacy and maintaining peace among nations.
The astute Professor emphasized the indispensability of Diplomacy in international relations being a tool to foster the interests of state or non-state actors at the expense of other players and to promote peace and order in an anarchic world.
Professor Akinterinwa described global peace as vague, warning that peace is not the absence of violence.
He hinged his position on the current Russian invasion of its former colony, Ukraine as a typical example of sovereign states attempting to apply force against another. This conflict, he said has produced an outpouring of international diplomatic support for Kyiv with the United States leading the efforts.
His words “Since the invasion, the United States has taken the lead in providing Ukraine with military equipment and training and economic aid, a near-blank cheque of diplomatic support, intelligence for stymying Russia’s offensive, and threatening draconian consequences should Russia use nuclear weapons in its campaign. This gesture brings about the question if indeed it is in the interest of gun manufacturers that the world have peace.
The author and columnist described world peace to mean effective consensus regarding shared sacrifices as well as voluntary cooperation which can be theoretically possible. He noted that the word peace will be a pipe dream if world leaders and citizens think that enemies are everywhere, or that their best chance to get ahead is to attack or go to war.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services) Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa who represented Professor Folasade Ogunsola, FAS, thanked the initiators of the roundtable. She said the Industry-Academic Exchange initiative is in tandem with the university’s vision.
According to her, the roundtable will enable the cross-fertilization of ideas and help broaden the scope of participants learning experiences, consequently making them better placed for future goals.
Prof. Atsenuwa declared the University’s readiness to continue to support programs that will sharpen and benefit students.
Earlier, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Olufunmilayo Bammeke said the roundtable is significant as it is an opportunity for learning particularly in the field of international affairs, as well as a fertile ground for networking amongst the alumni and other participating stakeholders. She noted that the most interesting part of the initiative is the birthing of the alumni body for the MPIA programme.
She charged the past students to seek ways to support the faculty and the institution. She explained that though it has been twenty-four years (24) since the commencement of the Master of Public and International Affairs (MPIA), as the postgraduate programme of the university, it is important for the organizers not to rest on its oars. She charged them to expand their influence through endowment support which will go a long way to advance their cause to be more impactful.
The event, put together by some alumni of the MPIA programme, had in attendance stakeholders within the international affairs space including representative of the Director General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, Head, Division of Security and Strategic Studies, Dr. Joshua O. Bolarinwa; Dr. Okeke and a former Dean, Prof. Solomon O. Akinboye both from the Faculty of Social Sciences as panelists.