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Blair Addresses Yale Students on Shift in World Power
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The former British Prime Minister was Yale University's Class Day Speaker: Photo by Diane OrsonThe former British Prime Minister was Yale University's Class Day Speaker: Photo by Diane OrsonFormer British Prime Minister Tony Blair was in Connecticut on Sunday to address Yale University graduates.

Tony Blair told Yale seniors that for the first time in many centuries, power is moving East. He said, in the coming decades China and India will undergo industrialization four times the size of the USA’s and at five times the speed.

"Most of all we should know that in this new world we must clear a path to partnership, not stand off against each other competing for power."

The former British Prime Minister also spoke about his recent trip to Israel as Middle East envoy. He said that the Middle East conflict symbolizes a wider struggle….in which the forces of modernization and moderation battle those of reaction and extremism.

"Thousands of miles from here, this struggle is being played out in the suburbs of Baghdad and Beirut and the Gaza strip. But the impact of its outcome on our security here and our way of life here will register in the core of our well-being."

Graduates traditionally wear hats to Class Day.: Photo by Diane OrsonGraduates traditionally wear hats to Class Day: Photo by Diane OrsonAs he spoke, several dozen students held up red signs that read ‘No War” and ‘Peace Now”. Standing on College street in downtown New Haven, 22-year old graduate Leah Krivchenia said the protest was not intended to disrupt celebrations, but to serve as a reminder of Tony Blair’s role in the Iraq War.

"I graduated from high school in 2003. So it was a few months after the war began in March. At my high school graduation I gave a speech against the war. I didn’t expect that at my college graduation it would still be going on. And that the milestones of my life have been marked by these global milestones means that we have to have a reminder."

Krivchnia will spend next year in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright scholarship studying ethnic conflicts. Tony Blair will return to Yale next fall to lead a seminar on faith and globalization.