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Tony Blair to receive Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center

Tony Blair to receive Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center announced today that Tony Blair will receive the 2010 Liberty Medal in recognition of his steadfast commitment to conflict resolution. President Bill Clinton, Chair of the National Constitution Center, will award the prestigious medal to former Prime Minister Blair at a public ceremony on Monday, September 13, 2010 at the National Constitution Center (NCC) on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia.

The 2010 Liberty Medal ceremony will kick off a week of events leading up to Constitution Day on Friday 17th September. Tony Blair will be donating the $100,000 prize money that comes with the medal to two of his charities - the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative.

The NCC have decided to award Tony Blair for achievements during and since his time as British Prime Minister. The Center believes that throughout the gruelling negotiation process that preceded the historic Good Friday Accord, he displayed unwavering determination to settle the generations-long conflict. Since leaving government, Tony Blair has continued to facilitate productive dialogue between diverse groups, as Quartet Representative to the Middle East and through the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

Resopnding to the news that he would be presenting the award to Tony Blair, President Bill Clinton said:

"It was a privilege to work with my friend Tony Blair to help end 30 years of sectarian violence and broker a lasting peace in Northern Ireland, to stop the killing in and mass exodus from Kosovo, and to develop policies that would improve living conditions for people in both our countries.

"Now, as a private citizen, Tony continues to demonstrate the same leadership, dedication and creativity in promoting economic opportunity in the Middle East and the resolution of conflicts rooted in religion around the world, and is building the capacity of developing nations to govern honestly and effectively. I'm pleased the Constitution Center is awarding him the Liberty Medal in recognition of his work to promote the actions necessary to make peace, reconciliation, and prosperity possible."

Announcing plans for the presentation of the 2010 Liberty Medal, David Eisner, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, said:

"Tony Blair has significantly furthered the expansion of freedom, self-governance, equality and peaceful coexistence. This award recognizes both his dedication to and his success in building understanding among nations and creating lasting solutions in areas of conflict." 

Commenting on the news, Tony Blair said:

"It is an honor to receive the Liberty Medal.  I am deeply indebted to the National Constitution Center for adding my name to such a distinguished list of recipients. Freedom, liberty and justice are the values by which this medal is struck.  Freedom, liberty and justice are the values which I try to apply to my work on governance in Africa and on preparing the Palestinians for statehood.  They are the values which drive the work of my faith foundation as we try to show that people of different faiths can live together constructively, in peace and harmony."  

"It is a particular pleasure to receive this award from my great friend and ally President Clinton," added Mr Blair. 

"Bill Clinton's friendship, counsel and support were so very vital as we worked towards peace in Northern Ireland.  I was proud to stand with President Clinton as we fought to end the genocide in Kosovo.  And I am just as proud to receive this award from him.  I accept it, not as recognition of what has already been achieved, but as a sign that we share an ambition and determination to achieve so much more in the future."

Governor Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania added:

"Tony Blair, both in his time as British Prime Minister and in the work he has done since leaving office, has been one of the world's most important catalysts for reaching the goals of peace, freedom, and liberty.  He is a worthy recipient of the Liberty Medal".