Asserting that democracy, freedom, and the rule of law are under attack around the world, the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today said that diplomacy is one of the greatest forces for peace, prosperity and progress the world has ever known.
In a rare public address since her shocking defeat in November 2016 presidential elections, Clinton said that "authoritarianism" and "illiberalism" are threatening the foundations of post World War II era.
Speaking at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, wherein Clinton was joined by the former Secretaries of States in the opening of the US Diplomacy Center Pavilion, she said: "Diplomacy is one of the greatest forces for peace, prosperity, and progress the world has ever known."
"Democracy, freedom, and the rule of law are under attack around the world. A rising tide of authoritarianism and illiberalism threatens the foundations of the post-World War II global era that American diplomats have built and defended since Marshall and (Gooderham) Acheson," she said.
"And at a time when the longstanding bipartisan goal of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace is under enormous pressure, we would do well to remember what it feels like to stand in the shadow of the giant segment of the Berlin Wall that will greet visitors here at the center.
"It's signed by leaders who helped end the Cold War, unified Germany, and expanded democracy," Clinton said.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry said by ensuring that American leadership is not only still needed in the world but broadly welcomed, American diplomats have written a truly extraordinary tale that will bear telling over and over again for generations.
"And we will soon have the ideal place in which to relate that story," he said.
Kerry said the story of American diplomacy reflects a far different and far more uplifting vision, one of optimism about the ability of people from vastly different backgrounds to work together productively and in peace.
"We know that that can happen abroad. Why? Because we've done it here at home. And no country has melted more people of different backgrounds and varied aspirations and hopes than we have in the United States of America.
"That's the great thing that separates us from every other country in the world," he said.
"We are not defined by ethnicity. We are not defined by lineage. We are not defined by names. We are not defined by where we come from. We are defined by an idea.
"Unlike most other nations, the idea is that all people are created equal and that you can pursue life, liberty, and happiness," Kerry said.