CFR: Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Last Speech as Secretary of State

CFR: Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Last Speech as Secretary of State


Hillary Cliton

Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered her final remarks as U.S. Secretary of State yesterday at the Council on Foreign Relations’ Washington office. In her speech, Secretary Clinton reflected on her four years leading the State Department and announced that President Obama made the office of Global Women’s Issues, created under her leadership in 2009, permanent this week.

“[T]he jury is in, the evidence is absolutely indisputable: If women and girls everywhere were treated as equal to men in rights, dignity, and opportunity, we would see political and economic progress everywhere,” she
said. “So this is not only a moral issue, which, of course, it is. It is an economic issue and a security issue, and it is the unfinished business of the 21st century. It therefore must be central to U.S. foreign policy.”

Clinton also took questions on America’s standing in the world, the State Department’s budget, immigration, and redefining American priorities.

“As President Obama has said, the old postwar architecture is crumbling under the weight of new threats. So the geometry of global power has become more distributed and diffuse as the challenges we face have become more complex and cross-cutting,” she said. “Simply put, we have to be smart about how we use our power, not because we have less of it. Indeed, the might of our military, the size of our economy, the influence of our diplomacy and the creative energy of our people remain unrivaled. No, it’s because as the world has changed, so too have the levers of power that can most effectively shape international affairs. I’ve come to think of it like this. Truman and Atcheson were building the Parthenon, with classical geometry and clear lines. The pillars were a handful of big institutions and alliances dominated by major powers. And that structure delivered unprecedented peace and prosperity. But time takes its toll even on the greatest edifice. 

And we do need a new architecture for this new world, more Frank Ghery than formal Greek.”
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Hillary Cliton

Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered her final remarks as U.S. Secretary of State yesterday at the Council on Foreign Relations’ Washington office. In her speech, Secretary Clinton reflected on her four years leading the State Department and announced that President Obama made the office of Global Women’s Issues, created under her leadership in 2009, permanent this week.

“[T]he jury is in, the evidence is absolutely indisputable: If women and girls everywhere were treated as equal to men in rights, dignity, and opportunity, we would see political and economic progress everywhere,” she
said. “So this is not only a moral issue, which, of course, it is. It is an economic issue and a security issue, and it is the unfinished business of the 21st century. It therefore must be central to U.S. foreign policy.”

Clinton also took questions on America’s standing in the world, the State Department’s budget, immigration, and redefining American priorities.

“As President Obama has said, the old postwar architecture is crumbling under the weight of new threats. So the geometry of global power has become more distributed and diffuse as the challenges we face have become more complex and cross-cutting,” she said. “Simply put, we have to be smart about how we use our power, not because we have less of it. Indeed, the might of our military, the size of our economy, the influence of our diplomacy and the creative energy of our people remain unrivaled. No, it’s because as the world has changed, so too have the levers of power that can most effectively shape international affairs. I’ve come to think of it like this. Truman and Atcheson were building the Parthenon, with classical geometry and clear lines. The pillars were a handful of big institutions and alliances dominated by major powers. And that structure delivered unprecedented peace and prosperity. But time takes its toll even on the greatest edifice. 

And we do need a new architecture for this new world, more Frank Ghery than formal Greek.”
Send your articles for publication to editor@paradigmshiftng.com and your eyewitness report to
iwitness@paradigmshiftng.com

Click here to subscribe to The Paradigm Newsletter

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