Brazil—October 27, 2010—Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, addressed students, alumni, faculty members and education and business leaders on the importance of education in Brazil's growing economy on the campus of Anhembi Morumbi University. Anhembi Morumbi is one of Brazil's leading institutions of higher education and a member of the Laureate International Universities network. The speech took place on October 26 and was broadcast worldwide to 30 institutions of higher education in the Laureate International Universities network.
Laureate International Universities is a global network of more than 50 leading institutions of higher education. More than 600,000 students in 24 countries are part of this international academic community. Anhembi Morumbi has been a member of the Laureate International Universities network since 2005. This is Mr. Blair's second appearance at a Laureate institution; in 2009, he delivered the keynote address at the BiTS (Business and Information Technology School) Campus Symposium in Germany.
Mr. Blair is currently working in the Middle East as Quartet Representative, helping the Palestinians to prepare for statehood as part of the international community's effort to secure peace. He launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to promote respect and understanding between the major religions and to make the case for faith as a force for good in the modern world. Mr. Blair continues to advocate on issues such as Africa and climate change, including working on governance projects in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia advising President Kagame, President Koroma and President Johnson Sirleaf, respectively, on policy delivery and attracting investment, with a team of his staff working full-time in all three countries.
"Tony Blair is an international envoy for peace and the power of education," said Douglas L. Becker, chairman and chief executive officer of Laureate Education. "His relentless determination to build lasting solutions for some of our world's most pressing conflicts through education and mutual respect is a model of leadership for all our students. The Laureate International Universities network is privileged to have Tony Blair bring his global message to the students, alumni, faculty and staff members of Anhembi Morumbi."
"It is an honor for Anhembi Morumbi University to host this event with the former Prime Minister of Great Britain," said Gabriel Mario Rodrigues, rector of Anhembi Morumbi University. "The world is looking at Brazil because our economy is strong and growing and because we have been selected to host two of the world's major sporting events: the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. Mr. Blair understands both the opportunities and challenges that will result from this global scrutiny. His experiences and insight will help prepare our students to serve as representatives of our nation."