"We’re at an important moment in history, in which there is a fundamental division between the open minded and closed minded."
Speaking about today's most pressing global challenges, Mr. Blair has said that there are those today who see the world developing and coming together and ask “how do we make the most of that opportunity?” and those “who see the world changing and regard that as a threat.”
He added that “in a city like London today you have people from different nations and faiths and cultures all living together and working together. That to me is progress. It’s not a threat; it’s a great opportunity.”
He said that “the values that we stand for – and that we believe in – although they’re often presented as Western Values” are actually “basic values,” and that everywhere people want the “freedom to say what they think” and be able to “bring up their family in peace and prosperity.”
Mr. Blair warned that faced with the threat of “an ideology of close-mindedness, through an abuse of religion that results in such devastation, we’ve got to be clear that those values are worth defending and worth standing up for.” He also said the same values were needed in Ukraine, as “we need the strength to push back against this resurgent Russian nationalism.”
On the annexation of Crimea, Mr. Blair went on say that we need “to make clear to Eastern Europe that the obligations we have as part of NATO – and the obligations we have as members of the human race – mean that we have to be strong and clear in defence of those values right on the doorstep of Europe.”
Mr. Blair also addressed the emergence of China as it will be“the single biggest geopolitical change in my children’s lifetime.” He said “the relationship between America and China will be of huge importance for the prosperity of the world and for its peace,” and that the US and European countries “need to partner them, not least on the issue of climate change, if we want the world to take a different direction.”